Monday, July 8, 2013

Right Behind You, by Gail Giles

I found this title on another blog (can't remember which one!) as a suggestion for a great read-aloud and a great discussion-starting book. It was certainly that - discussion starting - but unfortunately, I don't think I'll be able to use it in my classroom. It had lots of bad language and some really mature content that most of my readers aren't ready for. It was an awesome book though, and I thought it taught a really good lesson.

Right Behind You is about a boy, Kip (or Wade, depending on where you are in the story) who killed another boy. It's not spoiling anything to tell you that - the opening page of Kip's narrative is, "On the afternoon of his seventh birthday, I set Bobby Clarke on fire. I was nine. It was all about Bobby's birthday present. A baseball glove." From there on out, Kip's story unfolds and the things he went through as a child murderer are laid out. I thought it was so interesting to see things from the killer's perspective, and to see the struggles he went through during four years in a mental institution and beyond.

Like I said before, this book teaches such an awesome lesson in empathy and in second chances that I wish I could use it in my classroom! I would recommend it to anyone in upper high school - I feel like everyone could stand to benefit from reading Right Behind You.

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