Target by Kathleen Jeffrie Johnson (0-7613-1932-8)
Grady was attacked by two men and raped a year ago. Now he is starting a new school, many pounds thinner, unable to eat, unable to speak, unable to stop thinking about what happened to him. He builds a shell around himself, not interacting with anyone, but then Jess enters his life. Jess is a chatty kid who deals with Grady’s silence by talking even more. This novel is a testament to friends who will accept you as you are.
I really enjoyed this book. Grady’s pain is shown so clearly that the reader’s own bones begin to ache with it. Jess is the perfect character to have next to Grady’s pain with his wisecracks, bad language, and kindness. The unlikely pair are what make the entire book work. It would have been far too painful a book without Jess.
This book is one that I would want kids to find on their own. It has a graphic depiction of the rape through a series of flashbacks. It also has a large amount of profanity. It is a powerful book that will stay with the reader long after they finish.

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