by Matthew Quick
Today, Leonard Peacock is going to kill himself and one of his classmates. He will first say goodbye to the only four people he cares about, but then he will do it. Leonard's last day is a cry for help, but no one pays enough attention or seems to care enough to follow through. As he says goodbye to his four, we learn the struggles that led him to the decision, and have to hope that someone will save him from himself. A haunting novel which portrays the struggle and many causes that lead someone to this decision, the book will keep you hoping that's it's protagonist finds something to live for.
While the premise itself is violent, the book is more about the myriad of factors that led Leonard to where he is now. We learn about the abuse he suffered in silence, about the constant bullying and his absent and clueless mother. The four people he says goodbye to are the only ones who appear to care, but even then are not aware of how desperately he struggles. It's a chilling reminder that you never know when how you treat someone will have the power to pull them from an abyss, or give them that last push to jump over. A great read for older teens.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 10th Grade