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INVENTING ELLIOT by Graham Gardner

INVENTING ELLIOT

By Graham Gardner

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: March 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-8037-2964-2
Publisher: Dial

Gardner serves up a suspenseful tale of a bullying victim who manages a transformation, not into safety, but into the kingdom of the bullies. At his last school Elliot was continuously threatened and beaten, and headed now into a new school, decides to do whatever he can to escape. His fear is palpable from the initial scene where he’s beaten up and continues as he watches fellow victims in the new school succumb to the dominant group, the Guardians, as well as to other bullies—teachers and students. At home, Elliot’s father is locked into an incapacitating depression, and his mother struggles with two menial jobs to support them. At school, Elliot’s fear guides him throughout each day, until he makes all the correct moves to be invited to join the organized and hidden power mongers called the Guardians. Elliot’s character changes as the story develops, giving readers the needed clues, amid nail-biting suspense, to the culminating event in the final chapter. References throughout to Orwell’s 1984 add depth and keep readers thinking of the principles at stake when those with power abuse it. (Fiction. YA)