2001 Michael L Printz Honor Book
When Christopher Creed, the class freak and whipping boy, suddenly disappears without a trace, everyone speculates on what could have happened to him. Soon fingers begin pointing, and several lives are changed forever.
This was a compelling read, told from the perspective of Torey Adams, a high school senior, the year after the disappearance of his classmate Christopher Creed. Compelling, but ultimately unsatisfying. For one thing, the over-stereotyping of teenagers is overdone. I spend too much time with teenagers to believe that teens can only be one thing, part of one club or clique or group, and that they are solely driven by one set of stereotyped characteristics. Just like adults, teens are more than their favorite sport, or the clothes they wear, or the part of town they grew up in.
In this book, we were supposed to be SO amazed that this particular character ALSO had other characteristics that were hidden for years from everyone else. And, surprise! THIS guy over here — he wasn’t just one-dimensional either!
I also had to take issue with the fact that a supernatural element was introduced toward the end, and it felt like a cop out, there was no preparation that this is the direction the book was heading.
The message that you can’t judge a person by their job or by the place they live, that you don’t know what goes on behind closed doors, is a definitely one that everyone, teens and adults, need to hear on a regular basis. But I think it could have been done a little more subtly.
This was my last read from the 2001 Printz Award and Honor books. I’ll post a wrap-up in a bit, and then move on to 2002 — I’ve already read several of those!