Young Adult Literature


Names Will Never Hurt Me
by Jaime Adoff


From School Library Journal
Grade 8 Up-There is an unsettling atmosphere at this Anytown, USA suburban high school-it is the one-year anniversary of a shooting death. The TV news crew is on hand to interview students, and the principal is on edge. The story is told through the eyes of four teenagers: Ryan, the football player who thinks he's a god; Kurt, the outcast oddball who regularly gets beaten but never fights back; Floater, the snitch filled with power lust; and Tisha, a lonely biracial girl who quietly watches all. Tension builds as the day progresses, as events unfold and worlds collide. As Ryan's perfect world begins to fall to pieces, Kurt's anger builds, Floater's dreams of fame go spinning out of control, and Tisha's frustration increases, it soon becomes apparent that something is going to happen, but what, and to whom? Writing in a free-verse, almost-poetic style, Adoff pulls off a young adult page-turner with literary ease. While readers may occasionally feel as though they've stepped into Columbine High School, rendering the purpose of the book clear, this does not hinder the novel's flow as the author shows who the real monsters are in this fictional world.-Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR 
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