BOYS, GIRLS AND OTHER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS by Rosalind Wiseman

BOYS, GIRLS AND OTHER HAZARDOUS MATERIALS

Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Wiseman has written widely on the social dynamics of teens, most notably in Queen Bees & Wannabes (2002). Here she fictionalizes the themes of her earlier works with the story of Charlie Healy, a ninth grader making a fresh start at the high school across town. Harmony Falls High might be a refuge from the frenemies she left behind in Greenspring, who made eighth grade so torturous, but it’s still fraught with peril: Bullies, clueless teachers and malevolent administrators abound. Controversy over the lacrosse team’s behavior off the field calls into question the ethics of the school, the players and Charlie’s childhood best friend, Will, who is enduring the ritual humiliations of joining the team. The story reads like a public-service announcement on the hazards of hazing; wise beyond her years, Charlie’s voice lacks adolescent authenticity, and her column in the school newspaper is preachy at times. But Charlie and her friends are outspoken and engaging, and the ending, while neither surprising nor original, will satisfy readers who like a tidy finish. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-24796-5
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2009




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