Nickel Plated

By Aric Davis

Place: Publisher & Year: Las Vegas, NV: AmazonEncore, c2010

Genre: Mystery, hard boiled crime fiction, suspense

ISBN: 9781935597322

Audience: Young adult

Number of pages: 197

Setting: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Time period: Contemporary

Plot summary: Nickel is a twelve year old child abuse survivor and foster child escapee.  At the age of ten, he ran away from his foster home and has been living outside the system since then.  He makes his money in a variety of ways, including growing marijuana and blackmailing pedophiles he finds online.  While he worries about his income, he also works for free for kids.  When a beautiful high school student, Arrow, comes to Nickel for help finding her younger sister, Shelby, Nickel can’t say no.  Hopefully, he’ll be able to find Shelby soon.  The longer it takes, the less chance she has of being found alive.

Appeal factors:

Pacing: Lots of action and short chapters make this a quick read.

Characterization: The story is told in first person through Nickel.  The main secondary characters are Arrow and Rhino, the owner of the gym where Nickel goes.

Frame: The frame for this story is quite dark – it deals with sexual predation of children.  It is Nickel’s determination and attitude that brightens this story, and leads to the title of the book.

Story line: An edgy, hard boiled crime novel (complete with slang) with an atypical twelve year old investigator.

Subject headings:

From Pima County Public Library:

Runaway teenagers — Fiction.

Human trafficking — Fiction.

Runaway teenagers — Fiction.\

Child welfare — Fiction.

Runaway teenagers — Fiction.

Suspense fiction.

[Don’t forget the Runaway teenagers—Fiction]

Similar works:

The Trouble with Lemons by Daniel Hayes

Touching Spirit Bear by Ben Mikaelsen

Twisted Summer by Willo Davis Roberts

Hero by S.L. Rottman

Personal notes: I enjoyed this book, but I didn’t love it.  The subject matter made for some rough reading in places.  I also had a problem with the ending – I found it unsatisfying the way things wrapped up for Nickel.  And finally, I found Nickel’s character to be a bit over the top in places.   I found I had to suspend my disbelief a few times regarding Nickel.  That aside, I did really enjoy the story.

Other: Diversity – abuse victims, runaway, professional fighters, sexual  predators

Aric Davis’s website

2 thoughts on “Nickel Plated

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