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Flying Feet
By author: James McCann
Selling Points: Tae kwon do, honor, respect, mixed martial arts
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: May/01/2010
Lexile Level: HL710L
Fry Reading Level: 3.8
Pages: 152
Fiction Ages 10+
Price:  $9.95
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In tae kwon do, I love it when I take a kick to the head, or when some guy punches me in the chest. When I can take some other guy's hit, it makes me feel tough. But there are always moves I stop myself from using, because they are frowned upon in my sport. Tonight I am free to win any way I can. With any move I see open to me.

After losing yet another tae kwon do tournament, Jinho gives in to his anger and breaks his opponent's fingers. While this gets him barred from competing at his dojang, it also gets him scouted by Austin, a trainer for an underground mixed martial arts club. At first the prospect of fighting without boundaries appeals to Jinho, but the more involved he gets, the more disturbing he finds it and the harder it is to find a way out. Unlike legal MMA, which has rules and regulations, underground MMA is a free-for-all: there are no weight classes and no referees to stop the fight should it go too far. When Jinho is set up to fight a boy known as The Ripper, he realizes that he doesn't belong in this world, but the only thing that can save him is the ancient code of tae kwon do.
Resource Links - October 1, 2010
"This story is filled with realistic characters and scenarios. The importance of respect in the teenage culture…will resonate with all. Ta kwon do enthusiasts will enjoy the various fighting scenes and positions explored."
CM Magazine - September 10, 2010
"McCann doesn't demonize the sport or its participants. Instead, he offers the reader a lucid account of its appeal while eloquently describing its dark side…An appealing story about martial arts that offers teens a combination of action, suspense and a positive message, [it] will be a popular addition to public and school libraries. Highly Recommended."
Victoria Times-Colonist - July 4, 2010
"The author does an excellent job of building tension and brings the story to an explosive close."
CD Syndicated - May 1, 2010
"More than just The Karate Kid turned up a notch but not quite Fight Club for tweens, Flying Feet is …a welcome and important socio-political ring tone for kids…It's also written in a nice, easy style that will keep both kids' and parents' interest in the outcome piqued."


CCBC Best Books starred selection, commended  CA  2011


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