Brimstone Journals

ISBN-10: 0763617423
ISBN-13: 9780763617424
Edition: N/A
List price: $7.99
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Description: In a startling, often poignant student journal, acclaimed poet and novelist Ron Koertge creates a suburban high school both familiar and terrifying. The Branston High School Class of 2001 seems familiar enough on the surface: there’s the Smart One,  More...

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Book details

List price: $7.99
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication date: 1/5/2004
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 5.25" wide x 8.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.330
Language: English

In a startling, often poignant student journal, acclaimed poet and novelist Ron Koertge creates a suburban high school both familiar and terrifying. The Branston High School Class of 2001 seems familiar enough on the surface: there’s the Smart One, the Fat Kid, Social Conscience, Bad Girl, Good Girl, Jock, Anorexic, Dyke, Rich Boy, Sistah, Stud . . . and Boyd, an Angry Young Man who has just made a dangerous new friend. Now he’s making a list. The Branston High School Class of 2001. You might think you know them. You might be surprised. Narrated by fifteen teenage characters, this startling, often poignant poetic novel evokes a suburban high school both familiar and terrifying — and provides an ideal opportunity for young adults to discuss violence in schools.

EDITH PATTOU is the author of East, and the two novels in the Songs of Eirren sequence: Hero's Song and Fire Arrow, a Booklist Top Ten Fantasy Novel of the Year, as well as Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, a picture book illustrated by Tricia Tusa. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.RON KOERTGE has written many highly acclaimed books for young readers, including Stoner Spaz, Margaux with an X, The Brimstone Journals, Shakespeare Bats Cleanup, and Where the Kissing Never Stops. He lives in South Pasadena, California.

Lester My dad'd freak if he knew I played with it, but I can't help myself. And I'm not hurting anybody. The bullets are across the room in his sock drawer. The Glock is by the bed, same place as the condoms. I like to hold it in my hand. Everything gets sharper, I don't know why. I feel skinnier instead of just this big bag of fries and Coke and pepperoni. If I take off my clothes, it's cool on my skin. I'd never hurt anybody but if I did this is how I'd do it-butt naked. And I'd start in the gym. They wouldn't laugh then, would they? The jocks would crap their pants. The girls'd kiss my fat feet.
Tran My father came here with his parents when he was ten. In the boat, there was room for two to sleep, so they took turns standing up. By 1980 they owned a small market. By 1990 three more. My mother and father often worked twenty hours a day. I started stocking shelves at age six. Everybody warned against black people, but who turned out to be full of hatred for our prosperity? Others like us, some from a village not five kilometers away from where my mother was born. Father does not want me to forget the country I have never seen. Every day an hour of Vietnamese only. Then another of music with traditional instruments. He wants me to be richer than he, more successful. Yet he begrudges one hundred dollars for the ugly new glasses I need. His dreams are like a box I cannot put down.
Boyd Dad drifts in about three a.m. a couple of nights ago, and I'm just finishing up Dog Day Afternoon for the nineteenth time. He's still a little faded and sometimes that makes him all paternal, so he gets us a couple of beers. I've seen this before when he's shot some pretty good pool and some hootchie's told him he looks like Harrison Ford. Things are gonna change, he says. There's gonna be a lunch for me to take to school every day, sandwiches with that brown mustard. No more doing his laundry. And you know that dog I always wanted? It's mine. Part of me wants it to be true so bad my teeth hurt. But I'm not holding my breath. "So how's school?" Here we go. After he calls me stupid about ten times, I split. I run for like a block but I'm totally out of shape, so I just walk until I stop wanting to kill him. Then I crash in the basement.
Allison A thirty-nine-year-old man in California drives his Cadillac into a playground and kills two kids because he wanted to execute innocent children. That isn't a sign of social collapse? Twenty-five million teenagers go to twenty thousand schools in the U.S. Ten kids, TEN KIDS, in seven schools did all the shooting, ALL OF IT, in 1998-99. In the same two years, grownups in southern California alone massacred forty people. I know what I'm talking about. I did research for this paper I had to write. I got a B- because my report "wasn't focused." Really? Could that be because when I was typing it my stepfather kept trying to massage my shoulders because I looked "tense"? I've told him I hate that. I've told my mom. She says he's just being friendly.
The Brimstone Journals. Copyright (c) 2001 Ron Koertge. Candlewick Press, Inc., Cambridge, MA

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