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THE SONG OF AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER by Ian Bone

THE SONG OF AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER

By Ian Bone

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-525-47282-7
Publisher: Dutton

A searing account of violence with heartbreaking long-term effects. Ten years ago, Freda survived a siege in a family restaurant; she and 12 others were taken hostage by a lone gunman. Unlike another child whose mother was present, nine-year-old Freda was alone: she’d returned to the restaurant for a fleeting moment without her parents, and that’s when everything happened. The 36-hour siege is told in flashbacks interspersed with Freda’s current life, which is paralyzed by emotional wounds. The gunman “stuck his fingers into my brain and messed about until I walked away empty.” Psychologically scarring interactions with both another hostage and the gunman have left Freda battling terror and profound confusion about her experience and culpability. Her face was splashed over newspapers as the innocent victim, the icon of hope, but her ambivalent feelings about these symbols—and about her relationships with her mother, father, and a mysterious stranger who inexplicably knows impossible secrets—plague her incessantly. Bone’s deft, poetic writing does full justice to the heavy complexities of the human psyche. (Fiction. YA)