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Breaking Rank

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  207 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Thus does the Clan speakTo Baby, the outside world is a cold and lonely place. The silent, enigmatic group that calls itself the Clan is his home, and he has been scorned and feared by classmates and neighbors. Like the rest of the Clan, he has never before participated in school. It's up to Casey to see to it that Baby isn't alone when he's the only Clan member to be plac ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published December 24th 2001 by HarperTeen (first published May 26th 1999)
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Breaking Rank

Breaking Rank is a very exciting and interesting book, it features problems teenagers might struggle everyday such as peer pressure, choices, trust, and many others. Peer pressure and choices is strongly emphasized in the book as the main protagonist Thomas Fairbairn, a junior member of the group called the Clan indirectly brainwashes Thomas with philosophies that you don’t need school or people’s support to become successful. As Thomas follows the Clan’s beliefs and falls behind th
Susan Emmet
Aug 12, 2010 Susan Emmet rated it really liked it
Randle's 1999 YA novel echoes "Romeo and Juliet" and eternal war between the "clans." Baby (Thomas Fairbairn) and Casey Willardson are linked at school, she as his peer tutor. Baby belongs to The Clan, a group of young men who shun contact with "normal" society for reasons social, economic and philosophical. The Clan is divided into groups of masters and apprentices. All learn by reading and doing; they are self-taught. Dressed in black, with identifying braids and beads and bracelets, they are ...more
May 03, 2011 Brandi rated it really liked it
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I started reading this book for English class, but I finished it way before I had to. This book is amazing-it pulls you right in! The main idea behind the story is that Baby Brother "Baby" is in a group called the Clan. The Clan never participates in any school work, and barely attends enough to keep out of truancy court. But Baby takes tests that show that he should be in honors classes. In order to bring him up to speed, a teacher assigns his tutor to
Jan 13, 2013 Diane rated it it was amazing
Thomas "Baby" Fairbairn is a member of The Clan, a group started by his older brother Lenny and two of his friends. The Clan is not violent or thieves or drug addicts, they are simply a subculture that doesn't believe in the school system. They know they have to go, but they are silent ... nonparticipants. Until Baby scores high on a test and suddenly Mr. Hall, the principal, is convincing Casey to tutor Baby so that they can sign him up for honors classes. But trouble ensues: The Clan sees Baby ...more
Elesa Hagberg
Mar 24, 2010 Elesa Hagberg rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 28, 2009 April rated it really liked it
Breaking Rank is a story about a boy who meets a girl. Thomas Fairbairne is a member of a pseudo-gang called the Clan. Clan members dress in all black, they don't speak during school, and don't apply themselves in classes at all. The Clan, however, is not involved in any crime. Some school teachers were concerned about the Clan, and when Thomas Fairbairn shows some promise, they put him in Honors classes and give him a tutor. Thomas's tutor is a girl named Casey. I bet you can predict what's goi ...more
Love this book! I love a good teen drama. I love the way she builds her characters and puts you in their minds and thoughts! These are the kind of characters that stay with you long after the book is over. I own this book now and just finished reading it again. The complexity of the story and the description of the world they live in come alive in her books. You feel there pain and their joy in everything they go threw. Few authors I have read can hold me like Randle. I love everything she write ...more
Michael Wing
Aug 17, 2010 Michael Wing rated it liked it
Started this this week. Seems well written and controversial story about a group of high school students who simply attend and ignore authority, intimidating the rank and file by simply staying silent and close, The Clan. The protagonist "breaks rank" by taking honors classes and applying himself. Cool concept, but troubles ahead. Finished the read this morning and found it good, 'til the end. Baby, aka. Thomas Fairbairn, falls for his assigned tutor and ends up beaten by jealous jocks in Januar ...more
Sandra Strange
Sep 03, 2009 Sandra Strange rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This novel deals with tough choices: a boy brought up by his older brother in a gang-like clan of young men who don’t “do” school allows himself to be put in an AP track because of his high test scores. His tutor is a “nice” girl who comes from an upper middle class home and conventional family. Little by little she gets through his defenses. However, the “jocks” don’t allow him to enjoy life, beating up on him and harassing him. The climax comes in a violent confrontation between clan and jocks ...more
May 18, 2008 Tess rated it liked it
Shelves: children-ya, fiction
This was a pretty good book, but I felt it was very predictable. I did not really like either of the main characters, which really hurts liking a story. I thought the idea of the separate society was interesting, but not very well explained. The problems were resolved way too easily to really be believable. And I really, really hated how preachy she seemed to be about sex.

I do like how she tries to get into her character's heads, but thought this book felt rushed and unfinished. If you want to r
Feb 09, 2010 Mario rated it it was ok
I am currently on chapter 4 which is page 54. So far the book is ok. The main character is Baby. He is part of this Clan who everyone hates. They do literly nothing don't talk, work, or show any life in school. They only talk amongst themselves out of school. The principal of the school, assigned Casey, a good student is going to be Baby's mentor to become a good student. Baby took a test that no other clan member took and got 100 percent on it. The principal was empressed and believes he can ma ...more
Hannah Lynn
Apr 09, 2015 Hannah Lynn rated it it was ok
Shelves: yalit-1-12
A teenage girl becomes the student mentor/tutor for a boy who is part of a gang, or rather, the Clan. She befriends this outcast boy through her associations with him at school and as she helps him with his homework. The thing is, he isn't brainless and classless. He is just with the wrong crowd.
This was one of the weirdest books I have ever read. It depicts a regular girl trying to "fix" a "broken" teen boy. The book covers topics such as standing up for virginity, deceit, and befriending an ou
Jul 18, 2013 Charlotte rated it liked it
Recommended to Charlotte by: High School Reading List
Started out a bit confusing not knowing who was who or what the "clan" was. But once I sorted that out I liked it. Some ideals I agree with. It started to fall short though. A lot of build up to not such an interesting ending.

Weird thing. My kindle had the print really really small. I couldn't read it without hurting my eyes. I changed my settings so I could read it but now have to change it all back since all the other books now have ginormous print.
I put YA with a disclaimer that it may be better for youth older than 16. That's my opinion, anyhow.

I really do love Kristen Randle's books. She writes about real issues that teens may have to face and conquer. I am always pleased that her heroes/heroines make the right choices in the end, even if they mess up they resolve the issues. They are great books for giving examples of what you can do when you have been, or are going through similar situations.
Jul 28, 2009 Ann rated it liked it
My roommate's mom wrote this book. It was interesting... It isn't fantasy or sf (my usual genre). It is a about a boy everyone calles Baby who runs with a 'gang,' but not a real gang. They just have mentors who teach them so they ignore their classes at school. Well Baby decides to take a test which catapults him into advance classes. He also gets a tutor--a little mormon girl. It was all very strange.
Mar 29, 2009 Lisa rated it it was ok
I was recommended this book by one of my friends, she'd been going on and on about it for days. And after having read it, I can say that I wasn't impressed. It's another run of the mill Romeo and Juliet rip-off. While some of the situations that happened throughout the book were kind of interesting it just didn't hold anything for me. I definitely like Randle's other works much more.
Sep 20, 2012 Camie rated it really liked it
I really like her writing. She can get me hooked and I seem to read her books fast! I may have liked "The Only Alien..." a little better, but this was still great. I love the way she handles day to day teenage struggles in this book and makes you think a little bit more about the way you perceive/judge people. This would be a good one for older teenage girls, and adults.
Cesar Lara
Sep 04, 2009 Cesar Lara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
this show how peer pressure affects who we are as a person, some times like the main character we do all that we see other around us do, we dont have to be how everyone wants us to be. when i read this book i really connected to it because this piece because i been to much under peer pressure by two sources family and friends.
Jan 08, 2009 Robyn rated it liked it
I would have given this book 4 stars because it is really good, but I have been reading all of Kristen Randle's books and liked others more than it. Still I like the way all of her books revolve around LDS girls and there is a scene in here that could have been taken from my own life, very interesting.
Jacie Bentley
Aug 21, 2014 Jacie Bentley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably one of my all time favourite books. I've read it a million times in past 10yrs.

It's an excellent story of fearing what you don't know and coming to realise what you thought was all wrong.
Suzette Kunz
Apr 27, 2010 Suzette Kunz rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A young man belongs to a gang/cult that controls pretty much everything he does. He becomes friends with a girl in his school and finds himself wanting to break away from this group, but he's afraid to.
Jun 20, 2011 Mackenzie rated it really liked it
From this book I have learned three things. One, study hard. Two, keep your family close. Three, follow your dreams and plans and not one of your parents, siblings, cult members, or friends.
David Petersen
Oct 14, 2009 David Petersen rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I stopped reading this book because it's really hard to understand and inappropriate.
Dec 24, 2008 Pygmy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, youngadult
Randle's The Only Alien on the Planet was better, but this book still has a lot of merit, and was able to grip and move me to tears despite the flaws.
Apr 21, 2008 Athena rated it really liked it
I definately like her other book "The Other Alien On the Planet" better, but this one was really good. It made me think, and re-adjust how I viewed certain things.
Nov 18, 2009 Sherri rated it really liked it
Kristen Randle knows how to get inside her characters and how to take the reader along. Insightful, surprisingly excellent read.
Oct 03, 2008 Bridget rated it liked it
It was interesting - good have some good discussion, but I thought the ending lacked pinache. Or panache.
Joy Smercak
May 06, 2008 Joy Smercak rated it liked it
This book reminded me a lot of reading the Outsiders. Okay but it's not a book I would recommend to anyone. Just a mediocre work; nothing to rave over.
Jun 02, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes stories like The Outsiders, West Side Story, or Romeo & Juliet
Recommended to Lori by: found it in the Summer Reading Challenge with TNBBC
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was a wonderful mixture of family dynamics and growing pains and teen romance. Moral dilemmas, personal conflicts, and becoming oneself apart from the crowd.
Mar 24, 2012 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
It took me a long time to get into this book. The ending was pretty good but overall not my favorite.
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