DIARY OF A WITNESS by Catherine Ryan Hyde

DIARY OF A WITNESS

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hyde portrays high school as downright frightening, a place where socially elite bullies are given free rein to torment the less fortunate with impunity. And for different reasons, both the bullies and the bullied tend to follow a Mafia-like code of silence, which compounds the problem. Yet it is not a world entirely without hope. Morality exists, wise relatives can be called on and respect can be gained. In this viscerally disturbing tale, fat, unathletic Ernie Boyd and his geeky, acne-covered friend Will Manson are routinely humiliated. As the situation escalates, Will, whose family is so toxic that it should be labeled with a skull and crossbones, begins to crack under the pressure. Ernie, who is more centered, partially because he is bolstered by caring relatives, is then called upon to make a moral decision. Overall, the story is engrossing, and it compassionately depicts the ever-increasing fury of Will, a warty but understandable character stretched to the breaking point, as he slogs through the hell known as high school. (Fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 25th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-375-85684-6
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1st, 2009




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