by Laurie Halse Anderson

Tyler Miller embodies a tremendous sense of decency that few around him see or acknowledge.... read more

Tyler Miller embodies a tremendous sense of decency that few around him see or acknowledge. At school, he’s been a favorite target for both physical and verbal bullying for years. At home, Tyler’s father thinks he’s a screw-up—his opinion fueled in part by Tyler’s single act of protest against all he’s endured—spraying graffiti on the school, and getting caught. Tyler begins his senior year with a new physique thanks to the court-ordered community service that had him working for a landscape company over the summer. For awhile, it seems as if his reputation as a loser might have changed right along with his appearance, but it isn’t to be. While no longer the victim of physical aggression, Tyler soon discovers that he’s still an easy target—of his peers, the school administration, even the police—when new and ugly troubles emerge.Tyler’s first-person voice is funny, sarcastic, insightful and tender—a reflection of Tyler himself. As the novel progresses, it becomes increasingly clear how hard Tyler has been battling not only depression and suicidal tendencies, but also a rage that grows ever more understandable and frightening as the novel progresses. In this riveting portrait of a teen pushed to the edge, Laurie Halse Anderson writes about a boy who finds the strength to keep from going over. But in his triumph, she also reveals how tenuous the line between reason and reckless abandon can be, and how some kids who fail to hold off despair have been failed by others first. (Age 13 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

show less