Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Peeled by Joan Bauer

Peeled is advertised as a mystery-adventure, but it's really so much more. There's a bit of a mystery with a ghost and a haunting. But, what really stood out was Hildy's coming-of-age story. She matures from a teen to a young adult right before your eyes.

In Hildy's town, the biggest story to hit her town in years concerns events at a local "haunted house." As a reporter for her high school newspaper, Hildy investigates the events, determined to write the truth. As she becomes more involved in the story, Hildy soon learns that the truth is not always clearly seen. She's given a taste of small town politics and the first experience with censorship. When she and her journalism pals are not allowed to continue writing about the haunted house story (and the secrets they uncover) in their school newspaper, the group begins publishing an underground newspaper.

I enjoyed the many layers of Peeled. Readers will probably pick it up looking for a good mystery (with a ghost!), but will find a multi-faceted story about so much more. There's plenty of room for discussion here as well and I can't wait to discuss it with some of my students.  I give it a solid 'B'.

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