Synopses & Reviews
When three popular girls go on trial in Government class for their ruthless bullying of a girl named Ivy, it seems like the misfit will finally get her revenge. Eight first-person narrators give different versions of the event: Ivy—this victim doesnt want revenge, she just wants to be left alone; Ann—shes the beautiful, but infamously cruel, leader of the bullies; Marco—he may be the only person involved who has any morals, but hes also the target of Anns persuasive affections; Daria—Ivys painfully shy lawyer doesnt stand a chance; Bryce—the goofy court reporter knows all the real dirt, even if he doesnt care; Cameron—he sleeps through the proceedings but might wake up just in time to make a difference; Wayne—a true devotee of the legal process, too bad hes on the sidelines; and Faith—as the only witness for the prosecution, it all comes down to her. But where do her loyalties lie?
"Koss (The Girls), with a fascinating premise, uses the authentic voices of eight diverse teens to create a 'mock trial' in an American Government class. When loner Ivy confesses to her teacher that she has been taunted and teased for years by pretty, popular Ann and her sidekicks ('The Evil Three have been after me, feeding off me since fourth grade'), the woman sees the situation as an opportunity to model their study of the judicial system. The names of the lawyers for the plaintiff and defendants are randomly chosen from a paper bag, followed by the rather tedious process of selecting a jury. Distinct personalities emerge from the narratives of the principle players: self-protectively aloof Ivy, who frequently uses fish analogies to describe herself ('so I swam upstream, alone against the current'); painfully shy and insecure Daria (the 'best student'), who reluctantly assumes the role of Ivy's attorney; reflective, even-handed Marco, who is simultaneously entranced and disgusted by Ann; and the manipulative villainess herself, a study in superficiality and spite. The interactions among the students in and out of the 'courtroom' offer readers intriguing and often disturbing perspectives on popularity, peer pressure, bullying and fairness. In the end, Marco best articulates the outcome: 'Beauty wins and truth is irrelevant. Grim, isn't it?' Yes. And, in these pages, it's all too convincing. Ages 11-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
“The message is clear: beauty, popularity, and fear are the trinity by which girls rule, and although most teenagers arent cruel, many are indifferent to the suffering of their peers and are thankful they arent the ones in the spotlight. . . . compelling reading for teenagers in the trenches.”—Booklist
“[Koss] uses the authentic voices of eight diverse teens to create a “mock trial” in an American Government class. . . . The interactions among the students in and out of the “courtroom” offer readers intriguing and often disturbing perspectives on popularity, peer pressure, bullying and fairness. In the end, Marco best articulates the outcome: ‘Beauty wins and truth is irrelevant. Grim, isnt it? Yes. And, in these pages, its all too convincing.”—Publishers Weekly
“Realistic dialogue and fast-paced action will hold interest, and the final verdict is unsettling, but not unexpected.”—School Library Journal
"IwithVY: I told Ms. Gold about how The Evil Three have been after me, feeding off me since fourth grade.
MARCO: It isn't a very pretty story, so if you're looking for 'nice,' you better ask someone else.
ANN: We just have to come up wiht some witnesses for our side. Think! Does anyone owe you any favors?
BRYCE: I figure, Dude, why not make a little spare change on the side? A buck a bet. All's I has to do was explain that liable was civil for guilty, and they swarmed like flies."
Eight first-person narrators give different versions of the same event. Lessons about the inner workings of the judicial system pale beside the insights into human nature. With pathos and a great deal of humor, Amy Goldman Koss keeps you turning pages.
Bad people always get whats coming to them. Dont they?
About the Author
Amy Goldman Koss is the author of several highly praised teen novels including The Girls, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Picks Top Ten selection, and an IRA Young Adult Choice; and The Cheat, an IRA-CBC Childrens Choice. Poison Ivy was praised by The Horn Book for its “honesty and unforgettable voice” and by Publishers Weekly as “fascinating and intriguing.” She lives in Glendale, CA, with her family.