Synopses & Reviews
When he was nine, Kip set another child on fire. Now, after years in a juvenile ward, he is ready for a fresh start. But the ghosts of his past soon demand justice, and he must reveal his painful secret. How can Kip tell anyone that he really is--or was--a murderer?
"'Giles (What Happened to Cass McBride?) returns with another riveting nail-biter. Kip and his father live a spartan life in Alaska until nine-year-old Kip, in a jealous rage, sets a neighboring boy afire, killing him. Put in a psychiatric hospital for criminal juveniles, he is released four and a half years later and moves to Indiana with his father and new stepmother. Kip and his family assume new identities (Kip now goes by Wade). As Wade, who is by all accounts observant, articulate and intelligent, struggles with the sins of his past and finding his place in the outside world, he becomes a star swimmer at the school and even gets a girlfriend, who he nicknames 'Absolutely Cutest.' However, one drunken evening, Wade reveals his secret to his friends and soon after he and his family are forced to relocate once more, this time to Texas. There he finds a kindred spirit in his new neighbor Sam, a beautiful girl who considers herself to be 'damaged goods' of a sort, as well. This story explores, with sympathy and compassion, the nature of guilt, atonement and forgiveness. As Giles delicately handles these delicate issues and questions ('Do you get to kill someone and say, 'Oh, really sorry now,' and everything is fine?'), readers should be glued to Wade's story, hoping for his redemption. Ages 15-up. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Gail Giles is the acclaimed author of several psychological drama/suspense novels for teens, including WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE?, SHATTERING GLASS, DEAD GIRLS DON'T WRITE LETTERS, and PLAYING IN TRAFFIC. SHATTERING GLASS was an ALA "Best of the Best" Book (one of the best 100 books for young readers of the decade), an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, an ALA Quick Pick for Young Readers, a Booklist Top Ten Mystery for Youth, and received starred reviews in Booklist and Kirkus. Her most recent novel, WHAT HAPPENED TO CASS MCBRIDE? received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly, VOYA and KLIATT and received several citations (see quotes and reviews).