Thursday, January 26, 2006

Fade to Black--Alex Flinn

Alex Crusan is an HIV+ student driving to Dunkin' Donuts one morning when his windshield is hit with a baseball bat, breaking the window and causing flying glass to cut him. Crawling on the floor of his car he manages to hit the gas and drive away from the assailant.

Clinton Cole is an intolerant student who wants nothing more than to see Alex Crusan leave his school. He is intolerant because he is afraid. He's scared that he or his family will get HIV just by breathing the same air as Crusan. He's so scared he's willing to do whatever it takes to send Crusan a message.

Daria Bickell claims she sees Cole smash Crusan's window. But did the Down Syndrome girl really see what she says she saw?

Told in these three alternating viewpoints, Fade to Black is an excellent example of how people's perceptions of the truth are different. On the surface Clinton Cole is an intolerant bigot. But is he really capable of violence? He's just a scared kid who's misguided and needs some help. Daria Bickell just wants to help, to be a hero, but how far is she willing to go to do that?

I liked the story. Once again Alex Flinn has written an engaging interesting book. It's good for everyone--boys, girls, high schoolers, middle schoolers.

Reading: I'll get to it.
On My Nightstand: Way too many.

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