Author: Suzanne Phillips
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2008.
Cameron’s life has never been easy. Only 14, he grew up with a physically and mentally abusive father, and now faces constant bullying every day in high school. Bullying that no adult stops, though his desire to not tell anyone about it keeps this a reality. But one day the bullying goes too far, and lights a fire of revenge in Cameron that he can’t contain anymore. The consequences of his reaction to the situation create repercussions that no one imagined.
This is one of the few books I have ever felt seriously disturbed by. Bullying is a serious situation, and books like Burn highlight not only the need to open a better dialogue but to also find better ways to deal with the situation and the aftermath. The situations which Cameron copes with, and the ultimate reaction they provoke from him, are highly disturbing in how you can see the progression and how potentially realistic it is. I would have a hard time recommending this for tweens, but at the same time can see the value of a book like this for older tweens who need to recognize the potential seriousness of these types of situations. Overall it was an incredibly powerful book which was very well written.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Reading level: 9th Grade
Similar Books: Wintergirls
Personal thoughts- Disturbing but very well written
Subjects/themes- Bullying, Post Traumatic Stress, Pyromania, High School, Emotional Problems
Cameron- the object of bullying by many at his school
SciFi/Eliot- one of Cameron’s only friends who gets beat up simply because he is
nice to Cameron
Rich Patterson- the main aggressor against Cameron, a ‘red coat’
Pinon- the ultimate victim
Annotation: Bullying is horrific.