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TARGET by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson Kirkus Star

TARGET

By Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-7613-1932-8
Publisher: Roaring Brook

Kidnapped and raped repeatedly, Grady survives, but the emotional cost is huge. His parents accept his wish to change schools and the need to stay away from his old friends. The graphic nature of the rape by the two men is never far from the reader as it’s never far from Grady’s mind. In a new school he strives to be anonymous. But starting with motor-mouth Jess bugging him and a note from the school paper, it becomes apparent that vanishing in senior year is going to be tough, especially with a group art project. Anorexic, practically never speaking and trying to keep all emotion from his face, Grady hoards his secret. The contrast between what is going on in his head and the outer world keeps readers on tenterhooks, just as Grady never knows when some slight comment will bring his horrible memories to the fore. He’s unsure if he is a victim or an accessory, gay or straight, and Johnson carefully explores Grady’s suffering while having the angry homophobe, fat girl, and gossipy insider emerge in their own right. Painful and riveting. (Fiction. YA)