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3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  29 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
It is 1969, and Bowser has arrived at The Hill, an institution for delinquent teenage boys. No one is doing much to protect the boys who find themselves there, but Bowser doesn’t expect to stay long. He thinks he might be crazy (and others agree), so he’ll probably be off to the nuthouse soon.

When one of the boys is killed in an accident and it looks like Bowser’s friend N
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published April 14th 2009 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
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Pendred Noyce
Sep 30, 2010 Pendred Noyce rated it liked it
Hoppergrass is a YA novel about a fifteen-year-old boy sent to a southern reform school in the late sixties. Although uneven in its narration, Hoppergrass eventually delivers a strong tale of courage, self-assertion, and redemption.

Bowser is a middle class kid sent to The Hill for reasons we don't learn until the end of the book. With an uncertain sentence before him and worries about whether he is mentally disturbed, Bowser cultivates a reputation for violence and relies on his white gang--kids
Apr 24, 2009 Abby rated it liked it
How could I resist a teen book with this blurb from William Gibson(!!!) on the cover: "If Mark Twain had written a murder mystery set in an interracial reform school in Virginia in the late 1960s, Hoppergrass would be it." Despite the blurb & a strong first 100 pages, the book did not fully live up to its promise -- the murder mystery turned a complex & thoughtful depiction of race & power relations in a 1960s juvie hall into a formulaic story line with a pat ending & too many di ...more
Jul 30, 2009 Heather rated it really liked it
Richard aka Bowser is doing time at the Hill, the juvenile detention center. He struggles with what brought him here and what his future holds. His friends and enemies end up helping him cope with who he is.
Feb 01, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fiction
I liked this book but it has, in my opinion, untapped potential. Even though the story is told from the protagonist's point of view, we still don't really get a good sense of him as a person. Bowser, the main character, is sent to a residential facility for juvenile offenders called the Hill. He mentions that he's the only kid on the Hill from a good family, but never explains how it is that a boy from a good family got involved in drugs. He also mentions that he's likely to be sent to a mental ...more
Dec 16, 2014 Shelby rated it it was ok
This was an interesting read. It lacked a lot but overall the story was decent. Many of the characters, including Bowser, the main character, we're not developed very well. His voice felt inconsistent and I would have liked to know more about him earlier on.

I enjoyed the plot, but I definitely think that it could have been developed much better as some parts felt kind of random and we're not fully fleshed out as they could have been.

Overall, I would say that it is an ok book that could use a fa
Thomas Grant
Dec 10, 2013 Thomas Grant rated it really liked it
The book was very riveting. The characters' interactions always kept me going, and each character had something interesting to say. The plot was very interesting and there was always a cliffhanger at the end of each chapter. When I finished the book I really wanted to read the sequel, even though there it isn't one.
Thorn MotherIssues
Apr 16, 2010 Thorn MotherIssues rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2010
Teen reading challenge. Totally unique. I enjoyed it, although I'd have liked it better WITHOUT the big mystery.
May 08, 2010 Cheryl rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-lit
I really wanted to like this book. I thought that it would be another Holes. It wasn't. It wasn't bad, but it just didn't live up to Holes and the names were too convoluted.
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