THE PACK by Elisa Carbone

THE PACK

Age Range: 12 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

The tip-off that there will be mayhem occurs in the first paragraph of this awkward effort that pairs the theme of wolf behavior with a Columbine-style school massacre. When Akhil shows up in a suburban Washington high school, he causes a commotion. Apart from his accent, his refusal to sit in a chair, and his outbursts in class, Akhil’s neck and arms are heavily scarred. Adding to the intrigue, Akhil is in D.C. so that the NIH can study him, although he can’t reveal why. Soon, Akhil befriends two other outcasts in the school: Becky, who is fat, and her friend Omar, whose father, killed in the Gulf War, was black and his mother white. The three are united in their antipathy for Kyle Metzger, who crippled Becky’s little brother in a case of reckless driving, but whose lawyer father got him off scot-free. A new reason to loathe and fear Kyle emerges: he totes Aryan Nation hate literature around in his backpack, along with a hit list. Although the three briefly consider going to the police or the school authorities, they reject that option in favor of doing their own investigation. Akhil, who turns out to have been raised by wolves in India, has some ideas about applying the laws of the pack to the social universe of the high school. The plot is too much of a stretch to take seriously and the ending, though violent, is curiously unemotional. An author’s note offers information on wolves, examples of real “wolf children,” and Web sites about school violence. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-670-03619-6
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2003




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