Cornmaven's Reviews > Diary of a Witness

Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde
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Apr 09, 10

bookshelves: high-school, middle-school, ms-hs

With all of the recent stories in the news about bullycide, this is the book you want to read, to get a really good picture of what actually goes on. The adults who can do something are clueless, believing lies and tales, as is usually the case. The kids know if they fight back or tell, it will only get worse. The reality that bullying in school just extends out to the street, where school administrators can't do anything, is rather clearly spelled out.

The characters are so real and so well drawn, it is amazing. The dialogue of the teens is fairly realistic, but there are times when it is a bit too mature, but I think that is just to keep the story grounded. Thankfully, the protagonist has the wise uncle to guide him. I am always amazed in these novels when the 'wise uncle' empowers the kid, because I never felt that way as a teen, but it is a good thing nonetheless.

I think the last line of the book is one of the most powerful I have read in a long time for a YA novel: "It always seems to boil down to the issue of respect."

And we can take that on two levels - respect for self, respect for others.

Amazing book. Read it.
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