The Branston (a.k.a. Brimstone) High School Class of 2001 has got it all: Damon is the jock, Meredith the slut, Jennifer the good girl, David the computer game addict, Kitty the anorexic, Neesha the sistah, Rob the stud, Sheila the lesbian. And Boyd the angry and scared neo-Nazi with an arsenal in his basement and a list of "everybody who ever blew me off, flipped me off, or pissed me off."
Through a series of poetic journal entries from 15 students, author Ron Koertge chronicles the sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and ultimately chilling lives of fictional high school students in contemporary America. With just a few words from each character in each entry, readers glean more than a glimpse into their complex and often troubled worlds. Koertge's characterizations are compelling, if clichéd, although omitting two or three of the student roles might have made keeping up with who's who a little easier. Social messages covering racism, classism, homophobia, and an entire high school melting pot of "isms," come across a little heavy-handedly, but work well as an intentionally pointed illustration of the perils young people face today. Subject matter and language make this appropriate for older readers. Koertge is the author of several acclaimed novels, including Confess-O-Rama. (Older teens) --Emilie Coulter
In a startling, often poignant student journal, acclaimed poet and novelist Ron Koertge creates a suburban high school both familiar and terrifying.
The Branston High School Class of 2001 seems familiar enough on the surface: there’s the Smart One, the Fat Kid, Social Conscience, Bad Girl, Good Girl, Jock, Anorexic, Dyke, Rich Boy, Sistah, Stud . . . and Boyd, an Angry Young Man who has just made a dangerous new friend. Now he’s making a list.
The Branston High School Class of 2001. You might think you know them. You might be surprised.
Narrated by fifteen teenage characters, this startling, often poignant poetic novel evokes a suburban high school both familiar and terrifying — and provides an ideal opportunity for young adults to discuss violence in schools.
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