________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 20 . . . . May 29, 2009

cover Impact. (Orca Soundings).

James C. Dekker.
Victoria, BC: Orca, 2009.
94 pp., pbk. & hc., $9.95 (pbk.), $16.95 (hc.).
ISBN 978-1-55143-995-2 (pbk.),
ISBN 978-1-55143-997-6 (hc.).

Grades 7-9 / Ages 12-14.

Review by Christina Pike.

**** /4

excerpt:

“When we heard that the police had arrested the people who killed our son, we thought it would ease our pain. But it didn’t,” my father says, reading. He looks up for the first time. He looks at my mother. I glance at her too. Her eyes are filled with tears, but she holds her head high.

Impact is about the murder of a 17-year-old boy, Mark, who was killed on his way home from work one night. Written from the viewpoint of Jordan, Mark’s younger brother, Impact chronicles a family’s journey to cope with the brutal death of a young man. Jordan tells the story beginning each chapter with an excerpt from his father’s victim impact statement read in court. The remainder of the chapter flashes back to events that explain how things got to this point. We learn, for example, that Mark had dated a girl, Shannon, a couple of times and that Shannon had broken up with a boy, Tony, who was very jealous. When Tony learned about Mark’s dating Shannon, he got some friends together to teach Mark a lesson. Mark was beaten and killed during this attack.

     Impact, although a small novel, covers a number of issues facing young people. Violence and rage are major issues in this novel. It is also about male-female relationships, friendship, loyalty, injustice and loss. By choosing a character from the family as the narrator, the author allows readers to go through the grieving process with the family firsthand. We experience their pain with them, and we also come to terms with the events as the family does.

     A thought-provoking novel that will cause readers to think. Worth a read.

Highly Recommended.

Christina Pike is the principal of St. Francis School in Harbour Grace, NL.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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