By Craig Silvey, 310 pages
I liked this Printz Honor more than I thought it would. It blends your basic coming-of-age novel with murder and mystery and keeps the reader hooked. Charlie has never had much to do with his town's outcast, Jasper Jones, he is usually too busy avoiding bullies, skirting his angry mother, and trying to spend some 'normal' time with his best friend. But Jasper brings Charlie into a nightmare when he comes begging him for help in the middle of the night. Jasper's discovery slowly opens Charlie's eyes to the societal injustices in his community, family, and the world. Suddenly Charlie learns that things are not merely right or wrong, but instead that moral gray area between the two where decisions are not so easy to make. This is about a small town mystery, but the book is about so much more than that, there is a depth here that is refreshing to discover. Spend some time with this book, it may make you question your position in that moral gray area too.