by Paul LanganSyndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9781591940692]
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—These novels chronicle the beginning of a new school year at Bluford High. In Safety, Ben, a new sophomore, is the victim of domestic abuse and must decide whom to trust before either he or his mother is badly hurt. The Fallen picks up the story of Martin (introduced in Brothers in Arms [Townsend, 2004]) as he transfers to the school to start his sophomore year. He risks everything to break the cycle of gang violence that killed his brother and create a new life for himself, despite a series of misunderstandings that increases the tension. Shattered is the fifth story featuring Darcy, now entering her junior year. Her ex-boyfriend has returned to town and she wants to get back together with him, but she is ashamed to tell him that she was assaulted by a date after he left, and he doesn't want to admit that he started a new relationship. Pressure mounts and in order to find peace, Darcy must confront the secrets of the summer and quit lying to everyone, including herself. Quick pacing, modern settings, and contemporary slang (but no objectionable language) are sure to captivate reluctant readers. Despite violent subplots, each novel has a hopeful ending that will ring true with readers.—H. H. Henderson, Heritage Middle School, Deltona, FL
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