by Caroline Bock
St. Martin's Griffin, 2011. 211 pgs. Young Adult
“Everybody knows, nobody’s talking” is the mantra repeated by a number of the characters in this book. What no one is talking about is the fact that Jimmy and Sean have spent months harassing Hispanics in their Long Island town, and now they have been arrested and charged with murder after a man was beaten to death with a baseball bat. Will the people who know start talking, or will they keeping lying to themselves and to the police?
This book was generally a good read and I think the author was brave to handle the difficult subject of hate crimes. I think she did a particularly good job of portraying the mind set of those who see violence or racism and are afraid to speak up. The book is told from the viewpoints of a bunch of different characters, and while this did add to the story a bit, I mostly felt like it was distracting. I had a hard time keeping track of who people were and I felt like I never got to know anyone very well. I think a book about a difficult subject like this one should try to explore the reasons why people do the things they do, but in the end I felt just as confused about the characters’ motivations as I did in the beginning.