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The Irish Skateboard Club

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Worth reading 😎

A fun trip to Ireland with a little visit to the spy genre in between trips to the pub.

Out of all the books I’ve read on Reedsy Discovery so far, The Irish Skateboard Club would be the one that most relishes in an identity of its own. Brinn Colenda goes into different languages, centuries of history, culture from Ireland and New Mexico, a fair bit of foreign politics; basically lots of things that are hard to seem natural and interesting in a young-adult book. But he succeeds because he doesn’t push these too hard and focuses on a kid in a culture shock, an adopted teen in a family Colenda’s gone on lots of adventures with in a prior series he wrote.


I always enjoyed reading whenever Michael had to deal with something from the petty adults, such as being double-checked at the airport for being Mexican (oop, American from New Mexico), threatened for telling off a bully in the high-ups (Séamus and his mother were aggravatingly privileged) and standing up to a corrupt xenophobic professor (Donal Gillmore reminds us all of the teachers and bosses we’ve had who need some of their own medicine).


I really liked Ciara (pronounced Keira). I’m not a girl, but I get the impression too many girls in literature think too much about the excitement of having a partner rather than the excitement of achieving dreams and doing what’s right. Ciara is brave, independent and at first has a frozen shoulder, expecting the worst in a chivalrous stunt.


A criticism I have is I wished there was more of the delicious parkour. I felt Brinn Colenda had the space to come up with a reason for one in the slower middle parts of the book, like Nate maybe shoplifting and Michael having to also run from the cops as he’s caught in the cross-fire. Or maybe more flips and stunts and close calls in the big climax. Also, the third act rushes in a few places. It dives into a brand new plot, which would’ve gone smoother if we were shown more about Michael’s history and therefore committed relation to what he finds out. There’s also a moment of walking away, and the return walk back comes too fast for it to be lastingly effective.


My overall view, however, is The Irish Skateboard Club is the perfect travelogue for Ireland, and along the way it nobly glamorizes skateboarders and others some in society deem as bad news before getting to know them.

Reviewed by

I'm an entertainment critic from Canada. I've been blogging about movies of all genres and books of all shapes and sizes since 2014. Meanwhile, I'm also an aspiring author and actor, so you could say I have big dreams on both sides of the table. I really love the world of storytelling.

About the author

Brinn Colenda is past Director for the former New Mexico Series of the United States of America Snowboard and Freeski Association (USASA) and organized and judged all USASA snowboard and freestyle skiing competitions in the state. He and his wife, Lindy, divide their time between the US and Pana... view profile

Published on September 15, 2020

Published by Author Academy Elite

60000 words

Genre: Young Adult

Reviewed by