Knowles, Jo Read Between the Lines, 329 pgs. Candlewick Press, 2015. $16.99 Content: Language: R (80 swears; 5 “F”); Mature Content: R; Violence: PG-13.
This book shows different perspectives of nine high school students and one teacher over the course of one day. Each chapter is told from a different person, and although each story is specific to that character, all the characters show up in other people’s chapters. Throughout the book it becomes clear that everyone has their different insecurities. The overall message seemed to be about trying to understand other people and not judging them based on what you see.
I liked many parts of this book. The author does a great job making the reader empathetic for the different characters even though you only get to be inside their head for a short time. I think it’s a valuable message for teens to read that everyone has their insecurities and how they handle them, so that they can learn to withhold criticism. The parts of this book that frustrated me were that the “F” words were at the very end of the book, said by a teacher and were completely gratuitous. Also the mature content was on the border between PG-13 and R, but it included so many sexual references that were shocking and an attempted sexual assault that I erred on the side of caution and put it as rated R. The message would make this book advisable, but the content moves it to optional.
HS-OPTIONAL. Reviewer, C. Peterson.