Saturday, March 9, 2013


Panic by Sharon M. Draper

Publication Date 3/12/2013

Teen, 13+

ARC used for review.

Personal Ranking 4.5 out of 5

"All it takes is one moment, one bad decision,
for everything to change"

Diamond Landers has a good life. She lives with both of her parents, has great friends and is a talented dancer. At 15 years old, she has paid attention to all of the stranger danger lessons taught to her. But in one moment, too much temptation is dangled in front of her. He looks safe and professional, claiming he is new to the area he wants to introduce her to his daughter and her movie star friends who are all in town to addition for a movie. That is all it takes for her life to change forever. Now all her friends and family can do is wait, hope and pray for any news of Diamond and her safe return.

Wow! What an incredibly well written story that every teenage girl should read. I will definitely use this as a book club title with teens in addition to recommending it for the school's high school summer reading list. You can feel the panic setting in starting with the cover. Even though you can't fully understand the symbolism until you begin reading, it sets the tone perfectly.

Unfortunately, I have worked with too many young women who very easily could have ended up in any one of the situations shown in this story. One of the most important things about stories like this is that putting yourself in someone else's shoes, it makes you think about your past choices and how you would act in those situations. Panic shows the strengths and dangers of all different kinds of relationships and human interaction. While it didn't even really address the dangers of social media, you could talk about it during a discussion easily. All of the main characters take turns narrating different chapters, so you get to see multiple stories from their own point of view. The trade off is that they don't go into a lot of details. So even though what is going on is horrific, you are left to imagine the worst. So here at my branch, I would feel comfortable to recommend it to the middle school students as well.

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