Challenge Participant


Friday, 14 March 2014

Dead Ends by Erin Lange

Dead Ends

Dane Washington is one suspension away from expulsion. In a high school full of “haves,” being a “have not” makes Dane feel like life is hurtling toward one big dead end. Billy D. spends his high school days in Special Ed and he’s not exactly a “have” himself. The biggest thing Billy’s missing? His dad. Billy is sure the riddles his father left in an atlas are really clues to finding him again and through a bizarre turn of events, he talks Dane into joining him on the search. 
A bully and a boy with Down syndrome makes for an unlikely friendship, but together, they work through the clues, leading to unmarked towns and secrets of the past. But they’re all dead ends. Until the final clue . . . and a secret Billy shouldn’t have been keeping. 
As a journalist, Erin Jade Lange is inspired by hot button issues like bullying, but it is her honest characters and breakneck plotting that make Dead Ends a must-read.

Prejudice about how a person’s looks, looking for an absent father, temptation and bad behaviour, are all covered in this book, modern day problems which today’s school children have to deal with every day. A real coming of age book where the characters realise just what is important to them.
A great read which should be on every school reading list. Covers so many themes which are important in today’s world

I really enjoyed this book. On the surface it is one book looking for his father, who he believes walked out on him and his mother some years earlier. However, this is not the case and the truth is discovered later in the book.

The friendship between Billy and Dane is an interesting one. Dane is at troublemaker at school and his home life is strained. His mum frames winning lottery tickets, she does not cash them in, she is waiting for that big win. Billy D has Downs Syndrome, has to move around with his mum often and is looking for friends. Although it would be expected that Dane would be the leader, Billy D was also a strong character, persuasive and also a calming influence on Dane.

Erin Lange has written a fantastic book, one which I would love to see included in school reading lists. It offers so many questions which would suggest debate and thought.

Thank you to the publishers, Faber and Faber, for sending me the book to review.

No comments:

Post a Comment