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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  304 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Why had the men chosen him? Savagely violated by two strangers, sixteen-year-old Grady West retreats into silence. Some hells just can't be shared. Searing and powerful, Target shows that people can go through unspeakable things and emerge whole-- and sometimes your friends can save you. Another "provocative tale" (Booklist) by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson, author of The Paral ...more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published September 5th 2003 by Roaring Brook Press (first published January 1st 2001)
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After attending a school concert, 16-year-old Grady West decides to walk home by himself and is brutally beaten and raped by two men. I wasn’t sure I was ready for another story about teenage suffering, but after Mike's recommendation I went to the library, dug in immediately and barely came up for air.

Grady’s story is harrowing. Before the attack, he hung out with his Group, the six friends he’d known since grade school. After the attack, he has abandoned his old friends and starts over at a n
Book, you made me cry, feel, and hurt. Your writing may be mediocre, but I don't give a flying banana.

I'll never forget you. Thank you for giving sexually assaulted young men a fucking voice. It's taken long enough, and goddammit, do we still have valleys to cross.

Let me put apathy toward raped men into perspective:

Last year, I'm sitting in my psych class. We're discussing the misconception of rape as a sexual act, rather than the violent crime that it is, and how it's rarely down to a sexual de
Mike Puma
After recommending Target to a group of which I’m a member, I decided I should reread the novel to make sure it was what I remembered and that it has held up over the six years or so since I read it originally. Target has held up very well and is particularly relevant at a time when there’s so much concern over the issues of bullying (more on that to follow). In some other ways, it is not the novel I remembered—my memory had revised the text, giving more prominence to its aspects I’d found most ...more
It was a good book. I never understood how (in most cases I've heard about) boys could "turn" gay after being raped by men so violently, but...
This book helped me understand how it could happen. And see just how confused a boy could become. It was sad really, the doubts flooding Grady's mind.
I understood why he didn't want to talk about it, but I also understood why his friends would've wanted to know what had happened to him....why he had shut them out? Real friends want to be there for you.
I a
Adolescence can be a tough time for anyone. For young men its a time for them to define their masculinity and come to terms with what it means to be a man. This struggle is at the heart of the angst over coming out that so many gay men go through. It's also at the heart of much of the gay-bashing and homophobia that goes on as well.

This novel deals with those issues with the further complication of the young man's having been raped.

The novel is from the point of view of the young man as he str
Maria Casey
I'm not gonna say I enjoyed reading this book, because it's not the type of book that can be enjoyed... The story was heartbreaking, as was the characterization of our main lead, Grady. We're told of how his life literally just stopped after that night. We're told of the little things he needs to do to get himself through each day, such as his obsession with surfaces. We're told of how confused, alone and destroyed he feels.

The author of this book was absolutely amazing. I can't fault her. The w
Stephanie Banks
“But really, what could he have done a year ago? What could he have said? Grady closed his eyes. Some hells just can’t be shared.”

On his way home from a concert, Grady West is dragged into a van and brutally beaten/raped by two men. Skip forward to a year later, where we see an entirely different Grady making a fresh start at a new school. He won’t talk to anyone, is starting to look like a skeleton since he can’t keep food down, and can barely make it through the day without having vivid flashb
A strapping, sixteen-year-old Grady West is raped one night walking home from school. Not the most talkative, confident fellow to begin with, after the attack, Grady shuts down, doubts his sexuality, changes schools, and nearly stops speaking. In art class, he is paired with two other social misfits and together they complete the assigned group self-portrait. In that regard, the book is a male rip-off of Laurie Anderson's wildlly successful SPEAK. TARGET also mimics the only slight resolution, s ...more
Cathleen Ash
It’s not easy being raped. Not very nice either. It’s not one of the moments you look back on with a clear mind and a warm, fuzzy feeling in your middle. No, you try not to look back on it all, but when you must (and it seems like you must every day, every hour) there’s a cold ball of terror, fear, guilt and shame stuck somewhere smack dab in the middle of who you are - sometimes for a very, very, very long time.
Did I ask for it? Did I fight enough? Could I have done something differently?
If onl
Will Holt
This book is about Grady, a 16 year old boy who is haunted by the memory of being raped by 2 aggressive men. After that night, Grady becomes numb and hurt boy who is paranoid about others discovering his darkest secret and shuts down the world around him. I had high hopes for this book, because I thought reading another YA novel would cure my Looking For Alaska hangover, yet I'm still hungover. I'm glad this book allowed us to see the world from the perspective of a rape victim and the effects s ...more
I had to read this book as apart of a project I did exploring the issue of sexual abuse in young adult lit.

It features a male protagonist going through some very deep shit in a startling realistic way. No cheesy crap is pulled. If you aren't ready to deal with the ugly honest truth of something this terrible happening then don't read it.

The characters are fully alive and go through believable developments. If I didn't think it would make so many teenage boys uncomfortable, I would say it was th
Target deals with a taboo: male rape.

Grady west was viciously raped, as he was heading home, after a friend’s concert. Grady withdraws from everything believing it was his fault. He even switches from Delmont High to Thomas Jefferson High.

At his new school, he almost fights with Jess --a homophobic African American--for a seat on the back of the classroom. Quickly, Jess takes Grady under his wing. In art class, Jess points out Pearl (an overweight artistic girl), Gwendolyn (a writer for the sc

The story is of Grady, a 16 year old who gets assaulted one night, on his way back from a concert. At 6 feet and some inches tall, he wonders why him. How did they choose him? Reassessing his life and his encounters until what he calls the "after" he tries to figure out why these two men targeted him.

Part of me LOVED this book, and part of me was utterly annoyed. I could sympathize with the broken Grady, laugh at the wit of Jess (a black kid with a sharp, sometimes cutting sense of humor), and i
Grady is in high school, but he keeps finding himself to be the "target" of so many actions ay other people. Most of the attacks are homosexual in nature, but this is not about the true meaning of being gay; it is about violence. So Grady, knowing he seems to have "target" written on him, decides to just go through high school in silence. Until he meets the two strangest people in his art class. Why would this black kid decide to try to be his friend? And what did this overweight girl have to do ...more
Definetly not a book for everyone. I would recommend only to those who are really open to think about any issue even ones society as a whole is uncomfortable talking about like male rape. Yes, men get raped, and this tale, told my a women, is less about a man and more about a scared and confused boy who gets help for his confusion and ultimately comes out alright. Now this women knows how to end a story. I hate when I spend 200 pages getting ready for this awesome ending and being completely dis ...more
Jurri Saddler
I randomly stumbled on Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson's book, "Target" and am glad I did. Johnson tackles a tough subject and although it can be tough to bear at times, at no point did I want to put it down. I hope to read more from Johnson. Her ability to weave a captivating story is almost unparalleled.
Janine Darragh
While certainly not a feel-good, pleasurable read, I was really impressed with how the subject matter was presented. It was painful, yet thought-provoking. I think this will be a wonderful novel to use as a case study example for students studying to be school counselors.
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The book starts with a 16 year-old named Grady starting at a new school. Almost exactly one year previously, he was violently raped by two men on the way home, and he has become withdrawn, barely eating, silent, and has developed an almost OCD like habit of feeling hard smooth surfaces, like pencils. He is majorly confused about his sexuality and constantly questions "Why him?" Like Speak but it's a male, narrated 3rd person, and much more violent/graphic. Also there are more developed character ...more
While other teen novels have explored rape, in this one the victim is a male. As in Speak, the main character (Grady) doesn't talk much, but there's a lot going on inside of his head. The incident has made him question everything about himself, and he's not sure of the answers. While the story is not told first person, readers get this character and these issues, and will understand why Grady hangs on the outside of his own life. There are some fun secondary characters, but this is the story abo ...more
It was devastating, but I loved it.
6"3' junior Grady West loves his friends & school life. But walking home late one night, he is abducted by 2 drunken men, who beat him up, rape him & leave him by the side of the road. Grady retreats into a shell & loses weight, doesn't want to talk to his family. Grady changes schools, so no one there will know about him. But the 1st day of the new school, he befriends Jess-one of the few black kids at school with his help-constant talking,Pearl-the fat girl and Fred-the fag they he ...more
Nora Keating
While it was thought-provoking subject matter, something about it felt a little rushed. I would have liked to delve deeper into the character actually dealing with the aftermath of his rape. Most of the story was just him freaking out. I would have liked more focus on him coming to terms with his attack and getting reconnected with his friends. All of that felt really rushed. It would have been interesting to to watch him actually cope with life, not just watch him have major panic attacks every ...more
A slim but excellent portrait of the impact of sexual assault on an adolescent boy. People tend to forget that men can be raped too, and not just in prison. When it happens, the shame and the sense of isolation are usually much worse than it would be for a woman. I thought Grady's misery and silence was very well-handled, and the supporting characters were also fully fleshed out and not just flat indistinguishable paper dolls like they are in a lot of YA books about high school students.
An explosive plot is almost too explosive for the target audience. Grady is beaten and raped. So, Grady isn't surviving too well at the moment between the pain and shame. He then finds some misfit friends after moving away to avoid people and through this healing there are also hints of homosexuality and prior abuse.

Standing in front of his canvas, Grady felt himself blur. Then, feeling the weight of his own bones and blood, he came back. It was odd, having a body to return to.
When you think rape victim, you think a pretty, young girl. One who might be dressed a little provocatively. That is the complete opposite of Grady- young, muscular male. Grady is still a rape victim though and must deal with the consequences. This is one of the few books that I have read for my YA lit class that I actually didn't want to end. It was that good. You want Grady to reach closure and to heal.

A startling, third person novel about how one night destroyes 16 year old Grady's convictions and beliefs about himself and others. A year after being beaten and raped by two men, Grady wanders almost catatonic through life at a public school far from where he used to attend for fear of anyone finding out. The style is unsympathetic to unready readers, brutally honest about the things that go through Grady's head, both about the rape and the aftermath.
Krayton Williams
I really liked this book. i just wish that it would have ended a bit differently. Either one less chapter or one more chapter would have been good for me.
I loved this book partly because it wasn't your average story about a girl being raped then having to deal with the issues that come along with that.But in this story we get to look at rape through a mans point of view which in many ways was refreshing. this book was emotionally filled ,gritty , honest and simply amazing.
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