Do the crime, do the time behind bars. But once you've been in, it can be tough to stay out.
Tension between African Americans and Somalis at Rodney's high school erupts into a food fight that turns into a riot. In the midst of the violence, Rodney helps a Somali classmate to safety. Soon Rodney and Jawahir fall for each other. Against the pleas of their families and friends, they can't help but follow their hearts.
As groups on both sides of the fight harbor lingering resentment, Rodney and Jawahir are caught in the middle. Rodney is determined to avoid trouble, having served a previous stint at the County Home School. But in a world where hate seems to rule, can Rodney and Jawahir keep their flame of love alive? Or will their relationship ignite a fire that destroys all in its path?
This modern twist on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet explores the themes of love vs. loyalty and societal clashes.
Rodney falls for a Somali classmate, Jawahir, while protecting her during a riot between Somali and African-American students at their Minneapolis high school. Their tragic love affair echoes that of Romeo and Juliet in one of four titles kicking off the Unbarred series of modern-day Shakespeare adaptations, written at a fourth-grade reading level and featuring kids who have served time in juvenile detention systems. Jones effectively characterizes real-life tensions to ratchet up the drama and danger as battle lines between ethnic and religious groups are drawn, and hate and violence seethe. Available simultaneously: Duty or Desire, Fight or Flee, and Friend or Foe. Ages 11 up.