Author: Preller, James
Mary O'Malley is tired of keeping secrets. Secrets like her older brother Jonny's drug use. Starting seventh grade is tough enough without the upheaval her brother is bringing to their family. When two girls Mary thought were her friends decide to slam another girl online, Mary tries to look the other way. Then the girls turn on Mary, and suddenly, she doesn't have a safety zone.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.60
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 511507
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2021 In a companion volume that intertwines with his Bystander (2009), Preller offers further examples of bullying—including cyberbullying—from, this time, a female perspective. Here Mary O’Malley takes over to describe her beloved older brother’s struggles with drug addiction, her single mom’s promising new romance, her increasing feelings for Eric (the titular protagonist of Bystander), and associations with both queen bee Alexis and attractive but poisonous Griffin (Bystander’s bully-in-chief). Though leaving out a problematic scene in which Mary helps Eric break into Griffin’s house, the author replays several of the previous story’s other incidents from her angle. He also makes her clear-eyed enough to see the deceptively amiable Griffin’s true colors, and strong enough to weather both being frozen out by Alexis for refusing to help fat-shame another classmate and being admonished by that classmate for not speaking up in support of her. Along with plenty of fodder for reflection and discussion, there is no tidy resolution here, only a sense that problems with no easy answers are best addressed by learning from mistakes and never losing hope. - Copyright 2021 Booklist.