The Grounding Of Group 6
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The Grounding Of Group 6

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  398 ratings  ·  67 reviews
Arriving at what they believe is an exclusive boarding school, five sixteen-year-olds are unaware that they have been sent there to be exterminated and that their teacher is a murderer for hire.
Mass Market Paperback
Published by Avon Books (first published 1984)
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Gloss
This book seriously fucked me up as a kid. I met the author when I was about 15, and told him so, which seems to have delighted him. A creepy, inappropriately sexy, all-around mindfuck of a book. *Awesome*.

I really need to own a copy of this again.
Dawn Marie
YA was hardcore in 1983, yo. I bought my original copy of The Grounding of Group Six at Barnes and Noble in Boston when I was 10 – the huge one on Boylston that looked like a half-melted White House, and I’m not going to lie to you: I bought it because of the cover.

In fact, before I even get into the book itself, I’m going to rhapsodize about the cover. THE COVER. It’s one of those shady, “serious” YA covers from the 80s, and everyone in the group shot looks like they would CUT YOU. Which is tot...more
Jam
I actually found this book disappointing.

The basic plotline is simple: five parents decide to have their kids killed for reasons that are honestly pretty skimpy. The parents are pretty cold and I suppose that's part of why it's a horror, but it still comes off as bizarre more than anything else. They're sent to Coldbrook Country Boarding School, where as part of orientation, everyone goes on a hike. Unbeknownst to them, their guide has been hired to kill them.

Honestly, the parents' motivations a...more
Laura
Lesson learned.... the books that you loved in high school are best left as memories. This was a favorite high school book of mine that I reread because of a recent novel that reminded me of this. It is so not what I remembered. Character development is weak. Plot is a bit off. And many times it is just a bit hokey. Basic story line is that there is a group of five kids who are sent to a boarding school.. except group 6 is the group that isn't supposed to make it to the school because their pare...more
Antoine
Mar 18, 2008 Antoine rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: paranoid teens
It is hard to know how to rate this book. I did enjoy reading it, but partly because it was so absurdly, ostentatiously, hilariously bad.

Here is the premise: Somewhere in Vermont is a little private school for students of the gifted-yet-troubled variety. The atmosphere is that of a kind of hippy reform school. For the most troubled students, there is a special program, Group Six. These children have brought such shame and disgust to their parents, that the parents have opted to enroll in a progr...more
Kate
I heard about this book from a list of books for Divergent fans, by faction. It was listed under Amity. (I had read all of the books under Abnegation & Erudite, as well as most under Candor).

Group 6 is one of several groups of incoming students at Coldbrook Academy. Like the other groups, they are sent off into the woods with a teacher to learn some survival skills and to work as a group - the school's one of those progressive, hippie sort of schools where the students aren't even required...more
Andria
This is the book I point to whenever people complain that today's YA books are OMG SO DARK AND EDGY. This book about a group of kids whose parents sent them off to boarding school with the intent of having them murdered was written THIRTY years ago. YA books have always had edge. Ok, not always, but for more than a generation.

I read this book at least fifty times when I was a teenager. And I turned out ok, right?
Paula
Loved it as much at 30 as I did at 13. The premise is shocking, yet believable. Despite the seemingly dark subject matter, this book is both funny and tender without a hint of schmaltz. Growing up, I read and loved all of Julian F. Thompson's books; but this one was my favorite. (Wow, I must have had some serious alienation issues.)
Heather Moss
This is one of my favorite young adult novels, saved from when I was that age. I think my brother got it as a gift and I stole it from him. Excellent, intriguing story, full of teen angst, sex, and very nasty adults behaving horribly. I think it would make an excellent movie.
Sarah
I loved this book as a kid. I remember buying it at Waldenbooks at the mall and then heading to the cookie store to buy a cookie and read while my mom shopped. I read it over and over--think I'll have to buy the new version for my library!
Allison
I totally loved this book in 1986. It must have been republished.
Donnell
This feels so much like a precursor to The Hunger Games. Similarities:
1. Parents pretty much out of the story.
2. Adults in the stories are like caricatures of humans, resemble the adults in the other story and are fine with killing children.
3. The children are hunted and the plan is that all, or almost all, will die.

Interesting how I thought that part of the popularity of the Hunger Games came from the outrageousness of its premise, the idea of having children in a hunt to the death, seeming...more
Amy Suto
This is an obscure book with a high concept premise: a bunch of kids sent to a boarding school by their parents, where they are to be killed. It's a horror book -- a genre I usually stray away from -- but I believe this has been optioned as a movie, so that drove me to pick this up.

It's... a weird book. I'll say that up front. When you hear the premise, a story comes to mind. This is not that story.

The characterization is done pretty well -- Marigold, Coke, Sully, Sara and the others are likeabl...more
Andy Zepeda
"The Grounding Of Group 6" by Julian F. Thompson contains a weird and very uncomfortable plot. Five high schoolers (Coke, Sully, Marigold, Ludi, Sarah) and their leader (Nat) are being sent to a boarding school known as Coldbrook Academy. The high schoolers think that their parents had sent them there to figure out what kind of careers they will want to succeed. But actually, what the high schoolers don't know is that they are heading to this so called boarding school to be forgotten. Coldbrook...more
M Hunt
Five sixteen-year-olds are dispatched to a boarding school where orientation is to begin with an Outward Bound-style weekend, and end with their tidy offing. Written in 1983, I thought 'The Grounding of Group 6' would be something of a low-tech 'Hunger Games,' but it is more an antecedent to Libba Bray's darkly comic survival story, 'Beauty Queens.' The kids, each for different reasons, don't fit the mold of their parents' upper strata class expectations and when a parent with means says, "I cou...more
Maria M. Elmvang
This is a 3.5 star review.

I read about this in Shelf Discovery: The Teen Classics We Never Stopped Reading, and as the premise sounded absolutely fascinating, and the atmosphere like it would be similar to Singularity, I immediately added it to my to-read list. Last week it finally arrived from Amazon.

I'd say it both lived up to my expectations and it didn't. The premise was indeed fascinating, and I thought Julian Thompson handled it well. Sure, you'd have to take a bit of a leap of faith to be...more
The Bookish Squirrel
I remember reading this book when I was around thirteen or fourteen years old and if I were to admit to any book messing me up as a child then this would be that book. It's such a great read, though, and it seems to get better the more I re-read it and I'm not one to re-read books that often, Only a select few. Early V.C. Andrews, Bridge to Terabitha to name a few. I must admit that I do not like the new cover they picked for this book. The old cover, the one that showed the group standing toget...more
Audra Deemer
Five high schoolers are sent to (what they think) is a boarding school to get them on the right track. All of them have committed some type of misbehavior that has lead their parents to send them away--but none of them would have suspected that they were meant to be poisoned and thrown into a deep crevasse! No one expected Group 6 and their (young) advisor to make it back from their orientation camping trip alive...

While this book will seem fairly dated for today's reader, it is a lot of fun to...more
teatotaller
After a discussion of memorable books from my teenage years, it was interesting to go back and read this 20 years later. I remember loving it so much and that there is sex in it! Well, I think it stood the test of time but the sex that I remember is certainly not as graphic as I remembered. I think I thought it was very risque at the time though!

Part of what I enjoyed so much about this book originally was the cover art on the 1983 edition. The reprint cover art wouldn't have contributed as muc...more
Jessica
A truly weird premise about a boarding school that offers a "service" to wealthy parents - problem children can be disposed of, permanently, by signing them up for "Group 6." See, at the beginning of the school year, the student body is broken into five groups, each of which starts the school year off with a camping trip. However, a few unlucky students find themselves assigned to Group 6, which goes off camping just like everyone else, but...doesn't come back. Or that's how it's supposed to wor...more
Patricia Kaniasty
Can't see this really happening but it makes for a great story. Beware kids!! Must behave!!! LOL. You'd think the kids in this story world be worse but they aren't. They are just regular kids. I'd like to know the back stories about the parents. They seem like the messed up ones here.
Amy Jo Cousins
This is not a book to read for the first time as an adult. It is a book that should be read when you are young, still seeing the world as a place where adults often seem like they are out to get you, and escape to a place without them sounds like heaven in a basket with a bow on top. :) I loved this book with a passion when first read it, and still enjoy it now, but you have to be willing to engage in a big suspension of disbelief to accept the premise (that some parents would pay people to kill...more
Brenna Ehrlich
This book is hilarious and sharp. Anyone ragging on believability is missing the satire and style. A+ Read it again.
Christiane
Another childhood title I recently tracked down, though this book was a disappointment. I remembered it as being suspenseful and scary, and some parts are. The premise is awesome: some teens that have disappointed their parents are sent to a camp where they will disappear for good!

But there are also these long bits were the (conveniently) 3 boys and 3 girls "get together" (apparently I blocked the sex out of my young mind, plus the one guy is the older camp counselor so that's kind of ewww). Sad...more
Meaghan
Meh. This was neither as suspenseful or as funny as I'd thought it would be. The premise -- five teens are told they're going to a fancy boarding school when in fact their parents are going to have them killed -- is arresting and disturbingly plausible. But I did not find the book realistic and it seemed to drag on and on. The protagonists basically meandered from one action to the next, and the ending was far too neat and tidy for my taste. It bothered me that [SPOILER ALERT] the parents were n...more
Tammy
The story line of this novel is spot on. The premise is fantastic, but I hated the writing. There were several sections of text that I could tell was meant to be foreshadowing, but it was very poorly written and they could have been removed. The characters were pretty flat. When I'm reading a book, I like to be lost in it. I was NEVER lost in this book. I always knew I was reading and, frankly, I couldn't wait to finish it because then I knew I could start the next book of my summer reading list...more
Leslie
Amazing premise, amazing book cover. In the end, it just wasn't my personal brand of heroin. GUTG 2/3rds of the way through. I was impressed that I never could differentiate between the characters, who might be described as such:

BOYS (all blond, chiseled, and irresistible) - the hot rich rugged one, the hot rich insecure one, the hot rich cocky one
GIRLS (all brunette, lithe, and irresistible) - the hot rich granola one, the hot rich wildchild one, the hot rich psychic one)
RotHead
The mid-eighties were a good time for young adult books with the likes of Lois Duncan (Killing Mr. Griffin), VC Andrews (Flowers in the Attic). This book came out in 1983 when I was a teen and it was all the rage and I remember really liking it. Not so much 28 years later :)

The plot is still interesting but the writing and flow not so great. I'd be curious to see how this story would play out now in present time with current technology (cell phones, internet, gps).
Joant
I admit there are lots of plot holes in this book. I had to accept a completely unreal premise, and then the characters reaction to that premise, and dated references, to enjoy this book. If you are willing to do that, you might enjoy, as I did, this page turning teen survival group bonding good guys/bad guys story. I imagine if I'd read it as a teenager it would have been one of my favorites. Here both the parents and the teachers are the bad seeds.
Lisa Findley
Maybe if I'd read this before any other Thompson books, I would have loved it wholeheartedly. But as it is, I'd already loved The Taking of Mariasburg and A Band of Angels and Gypsyworld (the last of which is mostly an environmentalist retelling of The Grounding of Group 6). But it's perfectly Thompson, with a ragtag group of sexually charged kids running from seriously demented adults and making it on their own in the wild. He's so good at it.
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