It was in November, a Thursday after swim practice. The thing with Mr. Tracy, Darren's English teacher.
The thing was how Darren would think of it, afterward.
The thing that was vague and not-named.
The thing that hadn’t happened, anyway.
Darren Flynn has the perfect life -- until that day in November.
After that day, after what happened (did it happen?), life is different. Darren is different. Nothing is as it was –– before. His friends, his family, even the people who are supposed to be in charge are no longer who Darren thought they were. Who can he trust, now?
This compelling, masterfully written novel by acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates explores one teenager's search for identity in a complex, deceiving world, and the answers he finds in the most unexpected places.
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Joyce Carol Oates is a recipient of the National Book Award and the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction. She has written some of the most enduring fiction of our time, including the national bestsellers We Were the Mulvaneys and Blonde, which was nominated for the National Book Award. She is the Roger S. Berlind Distinguished Professor of the Humanities at Princeton University and has been a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978. In 2003 she received the Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service in Literature and the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up–Oates has produced another novel with a compelling story line and a complex protagonist. Darren Flynn is incredibly good-looking, but isn't quite sure how to handle all the admiring attention he receives from females and males alike. In addition, his teachers and swimming coach remark consistently on his untapped potential and the way he holds himself back both in the pool and in his writing, and Darren knows this to be true. The teen's hardscrabble rural New England lifestyle is juxtaposed with the professional, well-off families of his friends. As in Big Mouth and Ugly Girl (HarperCollins, 2002), Oates takes an ambiguous and uncomfortable incident with a male teacher and allows the story to unravel through rumor and innuendo into a horrible climax. Here, a retaliatory attack on the man's character by some disgruntled students careens out of control and has deadly consequences. The characters of family and friends are well drawn but the star is the protagonist, and Darren's authenticity shines through. The male-centered, first-person narrative and athletic allusions make this novel appealing to reluctant male readers. This is sure to be a popular title and is great for sparking discussion, even though the explicit language and subject matter may be problematic in some schools.–Courtney Lewis, Wyoming Seminary College Preparatory School, Kingston, PA
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Book Description HarperTeen, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110060541490
Book Description HarperTeen. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060541490 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.1019235
Book Description HarperTeen, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060541490