Sponsored Collection

Atlantic Books for the Holidays


Final Takedown

by Brent R. Sherrard

0 ratings
0 of 5
comments: 0
reviews: 1
list price: $8.99
also available: Hardcover Paperback
published: 2010
imprint: Lorimer
View Excerpt
Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
14 to 18
9 to 12
Reading age:
7 to 10
close this panel
Community Reviews and Comments
Sign Up or Sign In to add your review or comment.
Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Final Takedown (SideStreets)

Elias has always relied on Jordan and it is Jordan’s mom who takes Elias in when his mom’s on an alcoholic binge. But things go too far one day in a schoolyard fight, and both boys are arrested. Jordan comes up with a risky plan, and Elias wants no part of it. Can Elias free himself from Jordan’s influence before it’s too late?

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2011.

close this panel
  • Commended, Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre
close this panel

For as long as they've been friends, Elias has been relying on his buddy Jordan. It's Jordan's mom who takes him in when his own mother is on an alcoholic binge; it's Jordan who acts as the brother and role model that Elias doesn't have. But now they've gone too far, and a schoolyard fight has landed them both in jail. The judge gives them a warning: Shape up, or face time in juvie. The clock is already ticking when Jordan gets his girlfriend pregnant and then comes up with a bigtime takedown that'll set them both up for life. For Elias, it's not worth the risk. But can he free himself of Jordan's influence in time? [Fry Reading Level - 4.2

close this panel

Chapter 1 "Elias Heath Minto and Jordan Peter Black, you will reappear before this court on . . ." The judge pauses. He casts a bored look over his bifocals at the court clerk, who is riffling frantically through a huge black ledger. After a few uncomfortable minutes the clerk heaves a sigh and tells the judge, "June 17, Your Honour. Nine a.m." "You will reappear before this court on June 17 at nine a.m.," the judge repeats. "That gives you seven weeks. In the meantime, I suggest you both find good lawyers, and if you value your freedom at all, my advice is that you walk the straight and narrow, gentlemen. The clerk will prepare an undertaking, which you will sign before leaving these premises. Dismissed." I look at Jordan, who shrugs his shoulders and starts to walk away. I fall in behind him, heading for the back of the gallery, and freedom. After spending the night in a chilly holding cell at the police station, I can't wait to step outside into the warm May sunshine. We pass the court-appointed lawyer who'd stood up for us. She seems totally bored with the whole process. Jordan ignores her, but seeing as we have no money to hire an attorney, chances are she'll be representing us again in seven weeks. It seems like a smart idea to stay on her good side. "Miss Trevors?" I say. "Yes?" she replies without looking up. "I just wanted to say thank you," I tell her. "You're welcome." She seems a little upset, maybe the remark from the judge about us getting a good lawyer pissed her off. "Your papers will be ready in about an hour, front desk," the clerk says over his shoulder as he breezes by. I catch up to Jordan on the front steps, where he's lighting a cigarette. He passes it to me. I take a long drag as I lean against the courthouse wall. "Let's go," he says. "We have to wait. We need to sign those papers," I tell him. He let outs a huge sigh of disgust, like it's my fault. I'm just glad we're allowed to leave at all. "You boys are lucky you got Cameron," a voice announces from behind us. We spin around to see the cop who arrested us yesterday. He's giving us his best power-stare. Jordan laughs. "You think this is funny?" "No, I think you're funny," Jordan tells him. "We'll see how funny you find the lock-up." "Self-defence, man. You got to be able to defend yourself," Jordan says to him. "Minto," the cop says, shifting his attention to me. "Not many Mintos around here. Any chance I know your father?" "If you do, that'd make one of us," I tell him. I barely remember what my father looks like. My clearest memory of him is watching his white pickup truck drive away, and my mom dragging me into the house as I screamed for him not to go. I was four at the time. I haven't seen or heard from him since. "Heath Minto," he remembers, snapping his fingers. "Real hard-ass, or at least thought he was. I heard he ended up in the pen out West somewhere." "I hope he's still there," I mutter. If he'd known my father, it should've been easier to recognize me by face than by name. My father's father was from Malaysia. He'd met my grandmother, a fullblooded Maliseet, while the freighter he'd worked on was docked at the local wharf. They'd formed a relationship over the three weeks his ship had been hauled up for repairs and, without knowing it, he'd left an unborn son behind when he'd sailed. I'm dark-skinned. My brown eyes have a noticeable slant to them, just like my father's, according to Mom. Jordan calls me a Chindian — as in half-Chinese, half-Indian. The hour ticks by slowly before we can go inside to sign the undertaking. Jordan scribbles his name and hustles away, not even bothering to read it. Basically, it says we're to stay away from alcohol and drugs, and to keep out of trouble. If we breach the conditions, we'll be thrown into juvie until our court appearance. I sign it and leave. "All right, let's get out of here," Jordan says. We've barely cleared the courthouse property when he pulls a joint from behind his ear and starts to light it. The cops checked everywhere but there. That's exactly the kind of thing that proves to Jordan that he's smarter than everybody else. I take a quick look back to make sure no cops are behind us, and there's Jordan's mom, pulling up next to us in her old red beater. Jordan sees her and slips the joint into his jacket pocket. "Get in," she orders. "And good morning to you," Jordan answers as we climb in. "Don't get smart with me, Jordan," she almost yells. "What the hell is this, anyway?" "Aw, it's no big deal, just a scam “" he starts to say, but she cuts him off. "Just a scam? Are you out of your mind? Aggravated assault and uttering death threats is certainly no small deal," she says. "If Tanya hadn't called me this morning, I still wouldn't know you'd been arrested. Why didn't you call last night?" "I didn't want to bother you, so I called her instead," Jordan says. We drive in silence. I stare out the window at the filthy streets of Helmsdale. I

close this panel
Contributor notes

BRENT R. SHERRARD lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick with his wife, Valerie, who also writes books for children and teens. His first novel was Wasted in the Lorimer SideStreets series.

close this panel
Editorial Reviews

Sherrard has created a believeable and strong character...The author does a great job of getting into the mind of a young man.

— www.VOYA.com

"...Sherrard has written an excellent story... Having worked with street kids who have lived this kind of life, the introduction of a book like this needs a careful and sensitive touch if it is being read in class. The book is brutally honest about what life can be like for some kids and could, if handled carefully, allow for some discussion.

— Resource Links, Volume 16, No. 4
close this panel

Buy this book at:


About the Author

Brent R. Sherrard

BRENT R. SHERRARD is the author of the Lorimer SideStreets novels Fight Boy, Final Takedown, and Wasted, the latter two of which received commendations from the Canadian Children's Book Centre. He and his wife, Valerie, live in Miramachi, New Brunswick.
Author profile page >

Other titles by Brent R. Sherrard

more >

User Activity

more >
Contacting facebook
Please wait...