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Killing Mr Griffin

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  7,437 Ratings  ·  547 Reviews
Most of Mr Griffin's students take his class for extra college credits. Every little helps, right? But there's one thing that no college wants to see on an application: murder. When a group of students decide to teach Mr Griffin a lesson for his strict methods, they only intended to scare him. But sometimes plans go wrong.
Paperback, 262 pages
Published May 1st 2011 by Atom (first published 1978)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
This short, older YA book packed quite a wallop of emotion. Although I am already familiar with Duncan's talented writing, I was still surprised how sad and tragic this book came across. It gives an interesting perspective for that special teacher who pushes kids too hard and doesn't listen to excuses.

Throw in the fascinating mixture of teens - a young, shy girl who is a loner and falls too easily as prey into the grips of others because she's that desperate for attention; a cute girl who has l
Eileen Lepetit
Do you have any friends named Betsey? How about Lana – or even Sue? I’m guessing not. When your little brother is a complete moron, do you suggest that he “hush” – or do you perhaps say something stronger? My money is on stronger.

The story behind Killing Mr. Griffin sounds pretty cool: students hate strict teacher, decide to teach strict teacher a lesson – oops! – something goes seriously wrong. As a reasonably strict teacher myself, I think it’s just common sense to read these kinds of books.
Feb 23, 2008 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was thinking about reading this book with my classes during the upcoming six weeks. After reading it, I'm surprised that my school purchased a class set of it. Perhaps, eighth graders could handle it -- but, I know my little sixth graders could not. Multiple instances of cursing, the use of illicit substances and the fact that the entire book is about covering up a murder is a bit much. I'd also feel a knife going into my chest with every Hamlet reference that went completely over my students' ...more
Mar 26, 2010 Beth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a future high school English teacher I found this book a little disturbing. Five high school students who are tired of being jerked around by their English teacher, Mr. Griffin, plan to kidnap him. Their plan is to kidnap and humiliate the teacher. The participants include the jock, the cheerleader, the class president, the bad boy, and the mousey nerd. Their plan seems to go off as planned, except one little thing: Mr. Griffin is dead! The kids weren't aware that Mr. Griffin had a heart cond ...more
Jan 27, 2009 bjneary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a great little suspense book for the reluctant reader. It is only 222 pages and really is a page turner. Students have a nasty teacher (well they think he is) and one day after they all get bad grades, someone makes the chance remark, "That Griffin guy is the kind you'd like to kill." The leader of the pack, Mark, gets everyone to believe they will just kidnap him, scare him, and Mr Griffin will become a NICE teacher when he sees what it is like ont he receiving end. Simple, right- NOT---as ...more
Oct 25, 2009 Danielle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of suspense books, all ages
When I found this old thing sitting quietly on the top shelf of the Young Adult section in Borders, next to a couple more Lois Duncan books, I was hesitant. It seemed like one of those generic little suspense books for teens--like one of those wannabe Twilight fantasy books that have overly cheesy premises and even cheesier dialogue. But something about this book made me want to buy all 6 dollars and 99 cents of its glory. Was it the cover? Maybe. Was it the vague description on the back? Could ...more
Jun 22, 2012 Jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Man, this book. About halfway through, I tried to piece together the message of this book, and all I could decide on was: don't follow sociopaths that think it's neat to set cats on fire; shit will only escalate from there.

Our cast of characters:

Sue - our wallflower heroine, dull as dirt and socially isolated to an unrealistic degree. Remember that episode of Buffy, when Clea Duval turned invisible because her classmates ignored her? That's Sue without any of Clea's charm.

David - class president
The story is about five high school students who plan to scare their English teacher by kidnapping him, to get even for his strict grading. It all goes wrong when the teacher dies of heart failure while they have him tied up. The plot was very well crafted, especially the details of how their cover-up unravels. It's skillfully written to maintain suspense through the length of the book but it still lags in some parts for me. The difficult characterization of the victim is handled perfectly; you ...more
Jun 29, 2016 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lois Duncan was a fixture in my library hauls as a teenager. Thrillers, horror, supernatural versions of both. It was awesome. I was very sad to hear that she had passed away and so I have a mission to revisit as many of her books as I can get hold of. Killing Mr. Griffin was one of the first books that came to mind so here we begin.

Reading this as a teenager is quite a different experience reading it as an adult. That goes without saying but oh man. There are points of this where I sort of want
Trey D
The book I read was a little easier and the reason I chose it was because intricate plots and twisting action throughout most books can lose me and have me just staring at the page. This book had great character descriptions and during the story their descriptions suited them well as they story progressed. The main action was during the middle of the book and the plot was easily understood, (especially for a terrible reader), but despite its clarity and its extricating plot the author should’ve ...more
Jan 17, 2012 Purple rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Andres Guevara
May 16, 2012 Andres Guevara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is called "Killing Mr. Griffin" by Lois Duncan.
The book is about this teenage boy called Mark Kinney. He hates his English teacher. His name is Mr. Griffin. Mr. Griffin is one of those teachers that you hat. He always makes pop quizez, gives a lot of homework and never smiles in class. Every of his students hate him. In purpose, he also gives bad grades to well written papers. So Mark creates a plan of kidnapping Mr. Giffin. He wants Mr. Griffin to suffer. He wants him to have a taste
Eli Salazar
Nov 30, 2015 Eli Salazar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
***Spoiler Alert*** "It's a description of Mark," Susan said. "It's a clinical description of a psychopath." The genre is young adult, mystery, and thriller. I like this book because it wants me to read more and more each page.
The setting is mostly at night and at the waterfall. This group of kids (Mark, Susan, Betsy, David, and Jeff) want to kidnap their teacher to scare him because they don't like him because he is too strict. They kidnap their teacher Mr.Griffin and take him to the waterfal
Shally Clark
What can happen when the only thing a group of high schoolers have in common is hating their English teacher? A cheerleader, class president, jock, a bad boy and a nerd get together to plot how to sabotage their teacher who gives them hard assignments and hands out bad grades. After kidnapping their teacher, the situation gets out of hand when they did not realize their teacher had a heart condition and ends up dying because of tier actions. Now the high schoolers are faced with a serious crime ...more
Amy Y.
The book Killing Mr. Griffin, is about this group of teenagers plotting revenge on their English Literature teacher named Brian Griffin. Mr. Griffin's skills of grading papers triggers the enraged emotions with most of his students. Then, they decided to put a end to this. They wanted to pull a prank on Mr. Griffin is that he could get the taste of his own medicine. However, when the prank had been "pulled" too far...It was already too late. They killed Mr. Griffin! Now, the group of teenagers m ...more
Nov 28, 2011 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I'm really not sure what to make of this book. I don't know whether I liked it or not, whether I'd describe it as "good" or not, but wow. That was intense. I predicted things that were going to happen, and I always like it when I can predict things in books because I always feel smart or special or something, but this time was different. (view spoiler) ...more
Scott Volz
Five teens decide to kidnap their overdemanding, taskmaster English teacher so that he gets a taste of the anger he inspires in his students (who are unappreciative of the fact that Griffin, in his own rough way, really just wants them to be prepared for college). But the plan goes awry. Griffin, who suffers from a heart condition, has a heart attack and dies. Relying on the guidance of Mark, the mastermind of the original scheme, the group decides that they're in too deep for honesty. Instead, ...more
Mar 06, 2012 Dalton rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an all around good book. I liked the story and I could connect to some of the characters. It starts out with five kids planning to kidnap their strict English teacher. They kidnap him in the school parking lot, then drive him to a remote place in the Sandia Mountains. There they try to make him beg for freedom, but he refuses, so they leave him there for a few hours. When two of the kids go back, they find Mr. Griffin dead. They tell the rest of the gang, and create a plan to get rid of ...more
Apr 13, 2011 Becca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction
This is a quick YA suspense read, with a nice emotional punch. Duncan develops her characters well, and left me wanting to know more about what happened to them. I was struck by the final scene in the book and the elegant way she conveys the devastation of story's events on the main character without overdramatzing or spelling it out.

I read on Amazon that Lois Duncan is in the process of updating her books to be set in the present day, for paperback re-release. Seems like an interesting trend i
Mariana Nava
*** spoiler Alert***is there any teacher that you hate ? But the real question here is if you would kill that teacher you hate so much? i think that the Genre of this book is realistic fiction. My overall opinion on this book is that it's a really crazy and mysterious book. But it's really really good and totally worth reading.

This book takes place in a community And in this community is where the main character leave. The main character are Mark Mr. Griffin Sue Jeff Susan Betsy David. So this
Kelly Hager
Sep 12, 2015 Kelly Hager rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow I missed this book when I was a kid. I've read most of her suspense novels at this point, but had managed to completely miss this one (and the movie based on it).

I think most of us had that teacher, right? The one who seemed incredibly unfair and who almost never gave As and who was just really mean to every student?

Well, for Sue and her classmates, it was Mr. Griffin. And yes, they devised a plan to make him sorry for the way he treated them and his incredibly high standards...but they
Aaron Mcconahay
Apr 01, 2014 Aaron Mcconahay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The genre of this book is a thriller. This story is about a teacher that hates his students and tries to purposely fail them on a regular bases. Then the students get fed up with it and do something about it. Next a group of his from his class gather together and try to scare him, but they didn't scare them. Something goes wrong. The audience is people who hate there teacher.
In my opinion I thought it was a good book. This is because it keep me guessing, the characters felt real to me, and there
Aug 03, 2012 Apokripos rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young thrill seekers
Recommended to Apokripos by: The "Voice"
Not bad for my first Lois Duncan. However, I think the ending and the reason behind why a certain character acted the way he did is a tad too rushed for my taste. The author's writing is simple and characters are fleshed out splendidly.
May 28, 2015 Jared rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read "Killing Mr. Griffin" by Lois Duncan. I thought the book was good. It was laid out nicely, but it took too long to get rolling. A great majority of the book was them planning and no real action happening until the last few chapters of the book. They took at least two chapters just planning how they were going to kidnap Mr. Griffin. Once it got to about the last four chapters of the book, I was interested and wanted to keep reading, but by that time, it's to late. Most readers would have g ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Josh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read the book Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan, the book was about a small group of high schoolers that have an English teacher that is tougher then trigonometry. The teacher Mr. Griffin pushes the teens to the edge until they can’t take it anymore. I believe that Duncan writes this story to express past feelings about a teacher or superior that was similar to Mr. Griffin. Duncan was trying to write to a younger audience that is in school; with teachers that seem impossible to impress. The a ...more
Mar 16, 2012 Sophie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books
For the most part, I really enjoyed this book. I like how the author shows us Mr. Griffin from the kids' point of view, so we understand why they dislike him so. And I like how she then shifts to show us Mr. Griffin's world, so we understand what motivates him, and realize how wrong the kids are about him. I liked the build-up to the event and then how the author shows us how different the kidnapping is than what the gang thought it would be, and how the cover-up slowly unravels around them. Wha ...more
Garrett Zecker
Killing Mr. Griffin was written in the last great era of juvenile literature prior to the one that is sweeping our youth today. I believe this era to have existed somewhere in the areas of 1975-85, when authors like Duncan, Andrews, and Cormier led the YA vanguard toward today's resurgence. There seemed to be a lull somewhere in the 85-95 time period in my opinion, where books seemed dumbed down and a little more tailored to serial stories and writer-based genre work (but in all fairness, Andrew ...more
Sep 20, 2008 Becky rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-and-ya
I'm sure this book must have been quite the blood-chiller in its day, and if I'd read it as a teenager it probably would have occupied my darker daydreams for a while. But reading it as an adult, in 2008, I found it silly and nearly impossible to believe.

First of all, if the medicine is so important, why on earth doesn't Griffin speak up, appeal to the kids not to touch it? Why doesn't he just tell them what its for, in the hope of scaring some sense into them?

Because then there wouldn't have
There are some books that are banned that I think, "There really isn't anything [that I can see] that would make me want this book banned..or to even see why it would bother people." This is an exception. I can see why this one would be banned. I know during my school years I got angry at certain teachers...what kid hasn't? But there ARE people who would go to extremes, and I think that is why this book would be banned. It's creepy to think that this could happen, and that is where most of the t ...more
This was another "wonderful" book I was stuck reading in English class. Ugh.... I could just say "no comment" and be done ,but I feel like I have to explain why I rated this so low. Here are some of the reasons why I didnt like this book.
1. The main climax is given away in the title
2. The main character ,Sue, is pitiful and is extremely weak-willed. Even though she is a good, smart girl she easily turns to bad just because a boy she likes asks her to. :0....What? That she makes such a bad deci
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Lois Duncan (born Lois Duncan Steinmetz) was an American writer and novelist, known primarily for her books for children and young adults, in particular (and some times controversially considering her young readership) crime thrillers. Duncan's parents were the noted magazine photographers Lois Steinmetz and Joseph Janney Steinmetz. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but grew up in Saraso ...more
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“It's only by facing things that you ever put them behind you.
-Mrs. McConnell to Susan”
“The best things in life are simple. Simple things work. They don't foul up. It's the complicated things that get twisted around on you.” 4 likes
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