bjneary's Reviews > Keep Holding On

Keep Holding On by Susane Colasanti
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Jun 05, 12

bookshelves: bullying, favorites, kindle, realistic-fiction, romance, ya
Read on June 03, 2012

Susane Colasanti has written a very telling novel about teens and bullying. Noelle's life is bad; bullied by Carly and Ashley and Warner; neglected by her mother and hooking up with Matt behind a secret wall at school. But Noelle struggles to "keep holding on" and hopes to have more food and clothes and friends some day. This is a gripping story because the bullying is very explicit and difficult to read. Even Noelle watches as others are bullied and wants to help them but knows it would spell doom for her. Noelle's life was once better, but after her mother's boyfriend dies; they have no home to live in; her mom does not have a good job and as life gets harder for her mother, Noelle is the one who suffers. Sometimes there is no food, no toiletries, and stopped up toilets and broken showers. Carly calls her "rotten eggs" because they one time Noelle can;t find any clothes to wear, she is forced to wear clothes that stink. All of this daily horror has Noelle so afraid; she can't let anyone know! But she does have a few things that begin to make her life tolerable; her friend, Sherae, who does not abandon her; Simon who offers her a job editing the school newspaper (which gets her out of the torment of 5th period lunch in the cafeteria) and Julian who really likes her. I know my students will love this book and the bullying aspects of this book will create sensitivity on the part of the readers and have students think twice and stop picking on each other and accept them for who they are. Highly recommended
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