Authors: Lesa Hammond, PhD and Garrett Croker

Illustrator: Tom Hall

Publisher: Achievement U, Inc

ISBN: 978-0-615665382

Getting children interested in learning is a challenge, getting children to learn responsibility in society is a great achievement. In this second book of “Everyday Role Model Series,” Lesa Hammond and Garrett Croker accomplish the goal in Thompson Twins Call the Cops.

This one hundred and thirty six page softbound book has a colored drawing of two twin ten year olds talking on a telephone on the front cover. The back cover has two paragraphs about the book contents, a few reviews, a note about its non-profit organization and website for contact. Inside there are a few black and white drawings by illustrator Tom Hall along with a photograph of Hayward Police Lieutenant Sheryl Boykins with her biography, parent/teacher activities, about the series and acknowledgements. With some bold words and misspellings for emphasis, the book is targeted toward eight to twelve year olds. With no blatant profanity, the word “hecka” is used perhaps because the book is geared for low-income inner city youth.

The story is about twins Letty and Carlos who live with their mother in Oakland, California. Due to their mother working more than full time, the two are on their own often, walking to school and back, doing homework and learning responsibilities.

As they walk to school one morning with some neighborhood kids, Hector, an older eighth grader who used to be their friend, taunts them in front of a convenience store as he hangs out with supposed gang members. One of their friends notices a white car speeding off that almost hits a cat. The group picks up the cat and takes it to school where their understanding teacher allows it to stay until after class.

Meanwhile, the teacher has a special guest who happens to be a police officer from nearby Hayward. The children explain to Lieutenant Boykins about finding the cat, seeing the car and Hector and his friends.

When the twins get home from school, they hear their mother’s car has been stolen. The children and their friends concoct a plan to secretly video tape questioning Hector about the fast car. As they plot their plan, one friend’s grandmother overhears it and suggests they call the police instead of taking matters into their own hands.

Without giving away the ending, not only do the children learn that the police can help on thefts, but also assist in protecting a community from potentially bad gang members. In the end, the police are helpful, friendships are solidified, and everyone understands that it is important to let professionals handle certain circumstances.

This is an excellent educational read for any young person, no matter his or her background or upbringing as it installs not only the importance of being responsible, but verifies to confide in adults about questionable situations. One will look forward to where the Thompson twins will go on their next adventure.

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