Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials

Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials

Book Information

Publisher
Putnam, January 2010


Boys, Girls and Other Hazardous Materials is a wonderful story that nails
the true teen scene of middle and high school. So many times girls, and
guys, have "frenemies" and don't know how to get out of being seen as the
"mean girl". Well, Charlie thinks she knows what to do. She is going to go
to a different high school and get away from her so-called friends. She
wants to start over and she does it at Harmony Falls High School. Charlie
does meet new friends but a few old friends also pop up at Harmony Falls. Charlie and an old friend decide to write a column for the school newspaper and have a chance to impact some of the nastiness that is happening in the social world they belong to. Turns out it isn't always the girls who are capable of meanness. Hazing can loom pretty powerful in the male world.

This book would be great for a classroom or book club
discussion. Getting students talking about how "doing the right thing" is
essential and then how they can go about doing just that. The story focuses on doing
the right thing but it isn't shoved down the readers' throat like so many
other books do. It can be difficult to stand up and defend yourself to
others, especially if you feel alone doing it, even in a crowd of friends.
Charlie knows what the right thing to do is but she just doesn't know if
doing it will work. Her older brother Luke even discourages her from telling
the truth. Adults don't always listen, and some will do anything to keep the
guilty out of trouble. Charlie finally realizes that you need to keep
talking to the right adults to get the message across and the correct action
will be taken. She never gives up. This is a great book for any school or
public library. 288 pages

Contributed by Michelle Levy, Media Specialist

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