When internal anger turns into outward rage, one middle school misfit must find a solution or risk ruining everything that matters.
Trent Zimmerman can’t help it. It’s not his fault that his dad hates him, and his teacher, the old crone, hates him, and his old friends hate him. Only, well, he feels so guilty. Maybe it is his fault. Ever since the accident back in February, when Trent accidentally hit a hockey puck into Jared Richards with catastrophic results, his life has been turned upside down. When middle school starts in the fall, Trent believes it’s a chance to start fresh, only it doesn’t take long for him to realize that no one has forgotten what happened to Jared—especially Trent. Now his anger is getting bigger and bigger, pushing against his insides and making Trent lash out. If that isn’t crazy enough, he finds himself in a bizarro friendship with terribly scarred Fallon Little, who just might be able to teach Trent how to value himself. Graff writes with stunning insight into boyhood and humanity, allowing Trent to speak for himself in a pained, honest narration. Investing Trent with all the tragic frailty of Holden Caulfield, Graff tackles issues of loss, isolation, and rage without apology.
Graff consistently demonstrates why character-driven novels can live from generation to generation, and here she offers a story that can survive for many school years to come. (Fiction. 9-12)