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*Thick* by Colin Neenan - young adult book review

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by Colin Neenan
Grades 7-9 144 pages Brown Barn Books April 2006 Paperback    

Nick is in trouble. Not just the kind of trouble a normal junior in high school might find himself in—Nick is in BIG trouble. The kind of trouble that lands you in a prison holding cell with your fifteen new best friends who all get to the share the same toilet bolted to the middle of the floor.

Maybe he is just as stupid as his father always said he was. Not just stupid, but thick. Maybe his father had been right all along: he sucked at school, he couldn’t get a job without help, and no girl would ever want to touch him. Not where it counted, anyway.

Things seemed to be turning around for Nick, right before the “incident.” He got an 82 on his math homework, he finally figured out his job situation, and Alice, the girl who helped him get the job, just might like him. Now if only his father would stop drinking himself into a rage and taking it out on his sister, everything would be perfect. Right?

Then there was the fight. The gun. The bullies at school. The beer. The yelling. Blood. Lots of blood. Nick has done a very bad thing—but who ends up dead?

Fast-paced and full of suspense, Colin Neenan’s Thick takes you inside the mind of a killer, although it isn’t what you might expect. Perfect for reluctant readers, this novella speaks frankly about bullying, domestic violence, and the desperate longing to belong.

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  Meghan Fryett/2006 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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