Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ARC Review: The Fall by James Preller

The Fall
Author: James Preller
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (September 22, 2015)

Description: The summer before school starts, Sam's friend and classmate Morgan Mallen kills herself. Morgan had been bullied. Maybe she kissed the wrong boy. Or said the wrong thing. What about that selfie that made the rounds? Morgan was this, and Morgan was that. But who really knows what happened?

As Sam explores the events leading up to the tragedy, he must face a difficult and life-changing question: Why did he keep his friendship with Morgan a secret? And could he have done something-anything-to prevent her final actions?

My Thoughts: Keep a handkerchief close when reading this story. We all know how big a deal bullying is in our schools today. This is the journal kept by a boy about a bullying episode in his school.

Morgan Mallen killed herself. And Sam Proctor is trying to come to terms with it. He knew her probably the best of any of the kids in their school. But he was ashamed to admit it and he joined in the online bullying. Peer pressure and the fear of having the bullies turn on him had him doing things that he knew were wrong. Morgan and Sam were friends who met while walking their dogs and who hung out together once in a while. Sam says it was fourteen times.

Now, with the encouragement of a guidance counselor, Sam is writing a journal. He says he'll spend fifteen minutes a day putting down his thoughts. Some days it is a recounting of time they spent together. Some days it is a poem. Some days he is thinking about what he did wrong or what he should have done. Some days the page has just a few words.

Gradually, over the course of a school year, Sam grows and comes to some conclusions about Morgan and himself. He comes to know himself better and makes some decisions but he never does really understand why Morgan made the choice she made.

This is a very wonderful and thought-provoking story that will be in my middle school media center this fall.

Favorite Quote:

I didn't do it,
not me...

She was sick,
Anybody could see...

To take things so
I got this ARC from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

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