Nothing has been the same at
Central High since the student shootings at PleasantValley
High, fifty miles away.Tom begins to wonder what
is happening to his school, his friends and even his father. His school
implements new strict rules enforced by Dr. Willner, the grief and crisis
counselor.And the large number of e-mails that the
parents are receiving from the school seems to be having a curious, disconnecting
effect on them.His friends are disappearing. He is
Susan Award nominee 2005-2006
The school shooting fifty miles
away at Pleasant Valley changed everything at Central High. The changes
started with a new grief and crisis counselor who beefs up school security
and institutes new rules that change daily. These new rules turn Central
High into a place that is more prison than school. Students are searched
in the morning as they enter school, and the rules cover everything from
how you dress to what you read to what you listen to. Participation in
all extracurricular activities began to require random drug testing, and
it didn’t stop there. Before long students and teachers start to disappear.
It seems that, if you don’t follow the rules, you may not be heard from
again. “Class,” she said. “Here’s what we’re going to do. This never happened.
Becca’s phone never rang. None of you heard it… No one will mention it,
ever. Class, do I have your word on this?” “Yes,” said everyone at once…The
next morning, when we got to social studies class, Mrs. Ridley wasn’t there
(from pages 147 and 148). Mrs. Ridley is just one of many to disappear.
The one thing that is glaringly clear is that the new grief and crisis
counselor and his rules must be stopped, but the parents refuse to stand
up to him. All the teachers and students who do disagree with him disappear.
What will happen to the students of Central High? (Prepared by: Greta Flinn,
Young Adult Book Awards)