16-year-old junior Alex watched his friend Thomas jump into the river and waited for him to come up. He didn’t. Fearing the consequences of having alcohol on campus, Alex and his friend Glenn decide to lie about the accident. But someone else saw what happened that day at the river: their young and pretty English teacher, Ms. Dovecott. As the school year progresses Alex writes poetry to deal with his guilt. He hides in the library and writes in his journal. But pressure from both Ms. Dovecott and from Glenn force Alex to come to terms with the role he played in the accident in which his friend died. In doing so, Alex must choose between his love for his teacher and his loyalty to his friend.
My Recommendation -- For those of you looking for an updated alternative to A Separate Peace, this may be the book for you. The writing is beautiful. The ending will have you scratching your head for a second, pondering the unexpected outcome. The only complaint I have is that Alex often seems quite a bit older than 16. Teens probably won’t be bothered by Alex’s maturity. They will probably love him for it. Ages 14 and up 190 pages
Recommended by: Abby Moore, Education Librarian, South Dakota, USA