I picked this book up in the hopes that it would address the issues of bullying in a way that speaks to students. In that regard it fell short. While I found the novel interesting, it did not do enough to show the negative effects of bullying and what the best ways do deal with it are. However, it would help facilitate a discussion of bullying. The story follows a 14 year old boy named Bart through a family tragedy surrounding 9/11 and his subsequent attendance at a prestigious all boys boarding school. Based on content and reading level I think this book would be best used with 7th and 8th graders. There are very few female characters but I don’t think that would keep girls from enjoying the story. Overall I didn’t mind the book, and would consider using it if my class were having bullying issues and I wanted to be able to start a dialogue about it. It would be a fine choice for individual reading as well.
There is a reading guide available for this book through the publisher.
Publishers Weekly Best Book