Burn

ISBN 13: 9780330442299

Burn

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9780330442299: Burn
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"Are our schools safe?" It's hard to turn on the news without hearing this question, and the answer is typically "no." This novel explores what happens when bullying escalates to violence, and it challenges our definition of victimization.

With thought-provoking prose, Suzanne Phillips explores the psyche of Cameron, a bullied freshman who ultimately does the unthinkable: he kills another student. As she did with Chloe Doe, Suzanne has found a way to make this seemingly dark story ultimately redemptive. But she also dares readers to look at the behavior that provokes violence as having the potential to be as dangerous as the violence itself.

It's Suzanne's hope that Burn will inspire readers to take a precautionary stance against bullying rather than waiting to react to it.

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About the Author:

Suzanne Phillips is a special education English teacher in San Diego, California, and her debut novel Chloe Doe, was on our Spring 2007 list. She describes BURN as "A look inside the mind of a young man who is moved to kill a classmate." She says of this project, "I believe, as someone in the trenches daily, that America needs a little shaking up."

From School Library Journal:

Starred Review. Grade 9 Up—Cameron, a high school freshman, becomes an easy target for the varsity bullies after a chance comment by a coach who notices his short stature and long hair from behind and directs him to the girls' gym. As the taunts of "gay" or "fag" drive most of his friends away, Cameron's anger escalates. When he is assaulted in the locker room and photos of his nude body are posted on the Internet, he begins to break down and his desire to retaliate is explosive. Only his mother's boyfriend, a police officer, is able to understand the post-traumatic stress disorder that Cam is experiencing and offer practical though unwanted support. This is an intense story with brutal descriptions of the abuse Cameron suffers. Phillips provides just enough nuanced details of sexual assault and violence yet masterfully avoids sensationalism. While Burn lacks the eloquence of Nancy Garden's Endgame (Harcourt, 2006) and the broad perspective of Walter Dean Myers's Shooter (HarperCollins, 2004), it instead approaches the inner turmoil of the victim's "real time" during the taunting, humiliation, revenge, and remorse. As Cam's emotional state deteriorates, fantasy and reality blur, effectively conveying his pain and confusion. Reluctant readers will appreciate the fast pace of the book as the disturbing plot unfolds with short day-to-day vignettes. There is understanding to be gained for everyone who reads this timely title.—Sue Lloyd, Franklin High School, Livonia, MI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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