Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey

Jasper Jones is a half-caste, part aborigine.  He only comes to school to participate in sports and he's very good at that.  But when he gets in trouble, he goes to the only boy he thinks may be able to help him...

Ember, a division of Random House Teens, sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It's available at your local bookstore now.  It has also won the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature as an Honor Book.

Charlie is willing to help Jasper but when he gets to Jasper's secret place, he's shocked and scared by what Jasper shows him.  So is Jasper, and it's even worse because they both know the girl. Jasper is smart enough to know the local cops will blame him for her murder.  He's sure it can't be suicide.  So he asks Charlie to help him prove he wasn't the killer.

This is a complex story with a variety of unpleasant subjects.  Jasper is not treated well by anyone because of his mixed heritage, the dead girl had some secrets of her own, and this small town soon erupts in suspicions and fear.

Mature young readers will enjoy this tale set in Australia.  Mr. Silvey pulls no punches and shows everyone's warts in this story.  It has the feeling of honesty and that's what makes it so sad.  It's not a story one will soon forget.

Happy reading.

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