Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Giles' Right Behind You

This is not a book for middle school collections, but I could not put it down. It would be extremely thought provoking for high school collections.

Kip burns a child to death when he is 9. While not exactly an accident, Kip is not a hardened, habitual killer. Years of juvenile detention and therapy take his childhood away from him and leave him ill-prepared for life after that. He manages to succeed quite well in high school in a different state, but manages to sabotage his own efforts when he becomes happy. Moving yet again, he meets a girl who also has made mistakes, and learns to deal with what he has done.

I had to finish this even though it was clear early on that the content and language of this book was too strong for my age group. Still, it was masterfully done and riveting. Ms. Giles has made some very wise remarks concerning reading level of books versus interest level, and clearly writes for older children, so I hope her feelings will not be hurt when I don't buy this one.

On the other hand, a book I should have loved, Barrows' The Magic Half, about a girl who is transported back in time to 1935, did not appeal to me at all. I think perhaps it is too young.

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