Published August 1st 2012 by Sourcebooks, Inc.
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To keep his secrets, all he has to do is listen to the voice in his head and just walk away…
On his first day at his new high school, Dan stops a bully from beating up a kid half his size. He didn’t want to get involved. All he wants out of his senior year is to fly under the radar. But Dan knows what it’s like to be terrorized by a bully-he used to be one. Now the whole school thinks he’s some kind of hero, except Julie Murphy, the prettiest girl on campus. She looks at him like she knows he has a secret. Like she knows his name isn’t really Daniel.
Wow! This book was actually pretty powerful! I really admire the author for writing such a powerful book about a touchy subject. Bullying!!!
Daniel is an 18 year old boy with a very troubled past. He has a hard time trying to find the strength to forgive himself for the wrong that he has done and actually considers himself an awful person. He had done something terrible as a joke and it backfired on him to become a terrible tragedy. He was tried and served his time in a juvenile detention center.
The book starts off with Daniel going to a different school and his first day there. Right from the beginning he starts off on the wrong foot by getting into an altercation with another student. That is when he meets Julie. He thinks Julie is stunning, but cannot stand the fact that she just sat there while another person was being bullied. This leads to many problems between the two.
Now, this review would not be complete if I did not mention Kenny. Kenny is like Daniel’s alter ego. He is kind of like the little devil on the shoulder. He is a version of Daniel’s own self suspended in time at age 13. He lives inside Daniel’s head and only he can see or speak to him. There were many times that Kenny made me laugh out loud and he brought just the right amount of humor to this book.
I really enjoyed this book and felt sorrow for both Daniel and Julie. They had both been affected by bullying in two different ways, but, by the end, they were willing to stand up for what they believed in. I wish that it would be books like this that are read throughout middle schools across the country for students to actually see how much harm can be done from being a bully. Also, for the kids being bullied to understand that they should stand up for themselves and not succumb to the darkness that can eat away at them.
In closing, I thought that I would leave all of you with a few statistics:
- 1 out of 4 teens are bullied.
- As many as 160,000 students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
- 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
- 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
- Playground statistics – Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention -4% Peer intervention – 11%. No intervention – 85%.
*Statistics were taken from stompoutbullying.com