Bryan is a quiet, Afro-Puerto Rican boy who enjoys comic books, video games and drawing.  His dad, recently released from jail, and older sister worry that the sixth grader is “soft” and advise him that it is better to be feared than liked.  His level-headed mother encourages him to focus on school and to make good choices. When she encourages him to become friends with Mike, a seventh grader she believes is a good student and role model, Bryan is initially excited to find that he and this new friend share a love of superheroes and may be the brother he has always wanted.  When Mike begins challenging Bryan to join him in skipping school and subway surfing, however, Bryan feels conflicted about how to handle this new aspect of their friendship. Frustrated by his father’s inability to control his temper and subsequent return to jail, Bryan fears that his own anger at being manipulated by Mike may cause him to lose control as well.  This realistic look at making choices when the correct path seems less than certain is a good choice for tween readers who prefer a fast-paced story that reflects their own friendship and identity issues.