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Gardner, Graham
New York : Dial Books, 2004.
ISBN 0803729642
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
“The point of control is to control. The point of having power is to have power. The point of using terror is to use terror.” (From George Orwell's 1984) Every day at school, Elliot is subjected to daily beatings and bullying. At home Elliot’s mom works at two jobs everyday and his father never really recovered from the accident that left him a physical and emotional invalid. Then Elliot gets a chance to start all over in a new town at a new school ­ Holminster High. Even though Elliot will be changing schools in the middle of the year, he is determined to not draw any unwanted attention, to reinvent himself. He spends all his savings to buy new clothes and get a stylish haircut. Then Elliot goes to the swim team tryouts and ends up on the team. Just when Elliot begins to think he has sucessfully blended in at Holminster, a group known as the Guardians recruits him to join. The Guardians are obsessed with Orwell's 1984, and they rule over the school, deciding which students gets spared and which get punished each semester. Operating in secret, the Guardians don’t actually participate in the punishments, they appoint others to do the dirty work. Just as Elliot is being recruited into the Guardians, he makes friends with social outcast Ben, and he begins to fall in love with a very outspoken young girl named Louise. The Guardians have decided that they will accept Elliot if he makes the choice of which student will get punished by another and by what method. Having once been bullied, Elliot agonizes over the decision ­ whether to be accepted in his new school, or to not accept the way of the Guardians. (Compare this to The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier)  (Shawn Crosby,, Des Moines Library, Des Moines, WA)
SUBJECTS:      Bullies -- Fiction.
                          High schools -- Fiction.
                          Schools -- Fiction.
                          Family problems -- Fiction.
                          Self-realization -- Fiction.


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