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The Rag and Bone Shop

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  3,089 ratings  ·  404 reviews
Terse and terrifying, this final book from Cormier will leave a lasting impression. Jason, almost 13, is a shy, ineffectual child, who takes being bullied as a matter of course--but if he sees someone else being pushed around, he may strike back. When the seven-year-old girl who lives next door is murdered, Jason is horrified. He was the last one to see her alive. He wants ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 2001)
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Mrslabraden I believe that the main character is supposed to be Jason, but to me he is the only character without a problem through most of the story.

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3.74  · 
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 ·  3,089 ratings  ·  404 reviews

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Feb 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: thriller, young-adult
"Look, Jason. I am only stating what they think. I am trying to show you the seriousness of your situation. You are their prime suspect. They have evidence against you. No one else fits the profile . . . ."

A seven-year-old girl has been murdered, and the police are convinced her killer was the last person to see her alive - a twelve-year-old boy. Now, a hot-shot detective has been called in to try and coax a confession from the boy. But, will he cross a line to get the desired results?

This was a
Dec 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I’m trying very hard not to like this book. I know that sounds prejudiced, but at least I’m honest. In fact, I decided after being introduced to Robert Cormier’s style that I would not like this book. I have always been a fan of happy endings.
(Let me clarify: by happy endings, I don’t mean “And they lived happily ever after.” I mean emotional resolution and satisfaction. The world may be crumbling around the characters’ heads—sometimes literally, since I read too much fantasy—but the character
Jan 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Oh my, oh my, oh my. I don't feel I am exaggerating one bit when I say this book stands apart from anything else that has ever seen publication. I know that's an outrageous claim, but I suspect it's true.

Hours after reading it, the panicky, weighty feeling of this book courses through my veins and shadows my every thought. From the earliest stages of the plot, dark, frightening storm clouds loom close by and it becomes increasingly obvious that we are headed for a devastating upheaval that will
Mar 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young adults (especially boys)
The Rag and Bone Shop is an exciting, suspense-filled read that sucks you in and keeps you reading page after page in anticipation of finding out what happens.

The premise for the story is that a 12-year-old boy named Jason is the last person to see his 7-year-old friend alive. Her brutally murdered body is recovered and the police suspect him. They bring in an "expert" interrogator to get him to confess and much of the book focuses on the interaction of the interrogator and Jason in the small,
Chris Davis
This was literally me finishing this book:

For the record, I learned how to embed gifs just for this review. (Ok, so I asked a friend, but the result is the same.)

Is this book well written? Yes. Is it an intense read? Yes.

None of that changes the fact I will not get back the time I spent reading it.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I do not know of any other so-called YA author who quite so comfortably and effortlessly crossed the increasingly indistinct border between novels for younger readers and novels for adult readers in the course of his writing career. (I personally hate these rather artificial boundaries that are imposed on literature. I think dozens of fine, noteworthy novels go unread by older readers because they are marketed as YA. I am not referring to the endless stream of dystopian novels and serial fantasy ...more
Jun 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 11th-grade
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Sanders
Apr 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Because my writing and books are compared to Robert Cormier, I've been on a reading binge lately with regards to his stuff. You will see a large list of his books that I've read in the last month or so.

The Rag and Bone Shop: My favorite of Cormier's work. The suspense will keep the reader on the edge of their seat all the way through. Trent, the bad cop/interrogator, will make the reader squirm with uneasiness. My only complaint is the very last part. Don't worry, I won't spoil it, but Cormier's
Jul 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!! Of you just want a day read this book.

The Rag and Bone Shop is a great suspense style book. There was a murder of a 7 year old girl and that brings a 12year old boy Jason.
[spoilers removed ]
Anyone that wants a suspense filled day read this is the book you need. *BEWARE* beware there is a twist at the end....Great Book :-))))
May 23, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 8th-grade-ir
The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier. The main characters are Jason Durant, a 12 year old boy and a man named Trent who is an interrogator for the police. The story takes place in Monument, Mass. He was looking forward to the summer vacation when suddenly the town was hit with the murder of Alicia Bartlett, a seven year old girl. She was Jason's friend. There was no weapon, clues, or fingerprints. The only thing the police knew was that Jason was the last person to see her alive. Lt. Braxton ...more
Nov 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: eng-420
Plot Summary

Jason is a young boy who liked Alicia. Alicia was murdered, and the police suspect that Jason was responsible because he was the last person known to be seen with her. Trent, an interrogator who has been successful in getting suspects to confess, tries to get Jason to confess. Jason was called in for questioning,so the remainder of the book focuses on Trent trying to get that confession. Jason tells him that he did not commit the crime, but Trent uses many of his tactics to extract a
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel Fessenbecker
Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I found this to be one of the most unique mystery novels I’ve read yet. Cormier did an excellent job with this young adult detective story. The whole plot is based around the interrogation of a murder suspect: 12 year old Jason (who is the last person to see the 7 year old girl who was murdered). What makes this book so powerful is we know that Jason is innocent the entire time. So where’s the mystery you’re wondering? Well it revolves around the twists and turns that go on between the interroga ...more
Jun 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: english-420
This is a creepy mystery that kept me at the edge of my seat while reading. The plot is very simple. A young boy named Jason is the last person to see young Alicia Bartlett alive, therefore, he is accused of murdering her. The detectives bring in an expert interrogator who is known for getting confessions to do just that with Jason. Nearly 75 percent of the book is the interrogation. The result of the interrogation is very surprising and the end of the novel is more so. I think this book is suit ...more
Dec 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Another masterpiece of the dark and disturbing from Cormier, this, his last book.
At our last YAL class, the others in my group couldn't get over how completely dark The Chocolate War was.

I must lie down where all the ladders start,
In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.

How much of Jason did Trent get right? Or were Jason's last reasonings caused by Trent? Do Jason and Trent's thoughts on what we are capable of apply to each of us? Yes.
Sam Lieppe
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I thought that this book was pretty good. The only thing that was bad about the book is it was pretty slow and did not have a lot of action through the first 130 pages. Once you get to the end it gets very interesting and makes you sit on the edge of your seat. For a horror book this did not have as much horror as I thought it was going to have which was a disappointment to me because I was looking forward to it. If you want a good book with some scares this is your book.
Julie Suzanne
Jul 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was a very different kind of abuse story. Another disturbing Cormier novel, but this one a quick read. I always wonder, at the end, why I did that to myself. Why am I so drawn to these, knowing before I even begin that I'm going to be disturbed and depressed as a result? I'll never look at the issue of interrogation and "confession" the same way again. Worth reading.
Sep 20, 2011 rated it really liked it
Chilling look at the power of persuasion. I've only read 2 of Cormier's books (this one & The Chocolate War), but both have had this... manipulation of children by adults as a central theme. Very disturbing.
Apr 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen-books
I picked this up as an audiobook and couldn't put it down. You think you know how it is going to end until the end. It leaves you going NOOOOOO. I really enjoyed the book. It did give me nightmares. As a mother of teens, my heart just aches.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Stefani by: Kathi
Shelves: read-teen, audiobooks
OMG SO SCARY. Not as in horror movie, but as in totally freaky. The whole time my heart hurt for the poor kid and it reinforces the idea that adults can't be trusted.

Cormier is a fantastic writer with amazing, horrible endings.
Marci Glasgow-Haire
Aug 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
A quick, but troubling read. This book highlights the fact that children's psyches are more fragile than is commonly believed.
Drew F.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Rag and Bone Shop is quintessential Cormier: a tightly woven plot, memorable characters (both innocent and morally ambiguous), ironic twists, and a fluid narrative style. The title is an allusion to "The Circus Animals' Desertion," a poem by William Butler Yeats. In the poem, Yeats reflects briefly on the various stages of his career as an artist. He ultimately arrives at the end of his analysis with the following lines: "I must lie down where all the ladders start,/In the foul rag-and-bone ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-420-ya

This book is a whirlwind! It's about a shy thirteen year old boy who is trying to help out his town, when a murder is on the loose and kills his innocent seven-year-old friend. He was the last one to see her, but he knows that he didn't kill her . . . or did he? He is secretly interrogated by Trent, a man with a perfect record at getting people to confess, that he goes at great lengths to get Jason to confess, even though Trent knows that he didn't do it. The book messes with y
Dec 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was my first Robert Cormier book! My youngest son talked about this author and I thought I would give this book a try! I don't normally read YA, but I really liked this book. It kept me guessing right up until the last few pages! I gave it 4.5 stars!
Jess Verzello
Nov 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-lit-420
When Jason's young neighbor is found dead in the woods by her house, he becomes the prime suspect as local political powers insist on catching the murderer. His interrogator, unwilling to break his perfect record, convinces Jason to confess just before the true murderer confesses, leaving Jason confused and convinced that he really could kill...because he's done it before, right? Intense read. I love the way Cormier articulates the psychological effect Jason experie
Apr 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Robert Cormier is a great writer; he has been called “the single most important writer in the whole history of young adult literature.” He has written a bunch of books that has won awards The Rag and Bone Shop was not one of them; it is still a very interesting book. Sadly Richard Cormier passed shortly after completing this novel. This novel will take you in at the dark corners of the human heart, and the choices that can shape ones soul for good or evil.
I honestly liked this book; it was very
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Liz Ropp - Review #11

The Rag and Bone Shop centers around a young boy named Jason who is a suspect in a murder case - in fact the cops are so sure that he did it that they have called in special investigator named Trent to get a confession out of him. With each chapter alternating between Trent and Jason, the author, Robert Cormier, drives deep into the minds of a scared middle schooler and a man who hates himself but is not willing to change.

This book, like others by Cormier, made my heart sad
Joel Richardson
Nov 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Rag and Bone Shop by Robert Cormier Bleak, interrogation, friendship,
guilt, identity

Cormier uses William Butler Yeats' last lines of "The Circus Animal's Desertion" to title his bleak, young-adult novel about a boy who is examined down to the deepest part of his heart by a professional interrogator only to find innocence. This innocence turns to guilt when Mr. Trent, for greed, political, and power purposes, plants that guilt into the fragile, "coming-of-age" heart of Jason. While Jason is
Mar 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I wish I could give this book a thousand stars.
“I must lie down where all the ladders start, In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart.”

This novel is amazing. False confessions are recognized now, but they weren’t always recognized. Jason only wants to help and the police are feeling pressure from political leaders to find the murderer of Alicia. They hear about Trent and his interrogation skills and call him in, with their sights set on Jason. The majority of the book is inside the interrogati
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: engl-420
A seven year old girl named Alicia has gone missing in Jason’s neighborhood. On a second search throughout the town, the police find her murdered body in between two large trees. Jason is immediately considered the prime suspect because he was the last person to see Alicia before she was murdered. The police, the senator and the citizens of the town want answers. The police call in an expert interrogator named Trent who is known for getting confessions from suspects. Jason is called into the pol ...more
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2017 Reading Chal...: Rag and Bone Shop 1 20 Jul 18, 2015 07:47AM  

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Robert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes ...more