Roll Over, Big Toben


An authentic young adult novel about the clash of the streets and the classroom.

by Victor Sandoval

ISBN: 978-1-55885-401-7
Publication Date: 2003
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 128
Imprint: Piñata Books
11 and up

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This young adult novel depicts a teenager’s struggle with the clash between the streets and the classroom
Three things matter to fifteen-year-old David López: his family, his pigeons and his gang. But with the death of his father, David’s life in Little Arroyo becomes a struggle for everything he once cared about. “I’m gonna split . . . I’ve got to get out of here,” David says, when his mother suggests that he live with his well-meaning, but misguided, Uncle Joe.

His home life in turmoil, David turns to rely more on his best friend Robert and their gang, who stand behind the local hero Big Toben. Big Toben has it all: the brawn, the speed, and the courage to stand up to the rival gang, The Eastsiders. David can place all of his trust in Big Toben, whether he is charging for a touchdown on the football field, throwing bottles from the roof at a dance or slipping away from the police.

With Big Toben at his side, his life improves until one awful afternoon, when David is forced to decide between his loyalty to the gang and his own future. Will the influence of his family, his teachers, and his friends, help David make the right choice?