3.0 2
by Colin Frizzell

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Chill has always been different, but the way he deals with his disability and his art have given him the power to survive the horrors of high school. When a new teacher arrives, determined to crush his students' spirit, Chill decides to fight back and risk everything. A story of doing the right thing and standing up for yourself -- and your friends.


Chill has always been different, but the way he deals with his disability and his art have given him the power to survive the horrors of high school. When a new teacher arrives, determined to crush his students' spirit, Chill decides to fight back and risk everything. A story of doing the right thing and standing up for yourself -- and your friends.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Kathleen Foucart
When a new English teacher arrives, narrator Sean thinks he will finally get a chance to have a writing mentor, the way his best friend Chill has always been encouraged in art classes. Sean reasons with himself that Mr. Sfinkter (pronounced Sf-I-nkter) is only harsh to his students because he is trying to prepare them for the real world. But Chill knows better; he knows Mr. Sfinkter is really just cruel. The different views on their teacher cause a rift to form between the two friends, but when Mr. Sfinkter finally breaks Sean's trust, Chill does something to show just what kind of teacher Mr. Sfinkter really is. Sean, in turn, tries to help Chill when Chill's act might get him expelled. Chill is a very interesting character and more description of him and his thoughts would have been nice, especially during the middle of the book when a lot of the story is Sean's own rationalizations about Mr. Sfinkter. The story line, however, is one many students will relate to, though hopefully most will not have had teachers quite so horrible. A thought-provoking yet easy book to read, this is one that younger teens, especially boys that are reluctant readers, should give a chance.
KLIATT - Lisa Carlson
Sean's best friend Chill has had a limp all his life. Yet, no one picks on him as one might expect. In fact, Chill's equanimity makes him well respected amongst his classmates. Chill is also a superb artist, and it is this talent that earns him the opportunity to paint a mural at the school entrance as a parting "gift" from his senior class. Initially, he intends to paint inspirational and pop culture figures until he endures the new English teacher, Mr. Sfinkter, a self-absorbed, abusive individual who seems to enjoy demeaning students on a regular basis. A rift between Sean and Chill emerges as Sean decides to trust a promise made by this teacher, while Chill remains skeptical. When Chill's doubts are confirmed, he decides to take action in the only way he knows how: by changing the mural. What he eventually paints becomes the center of an end-of-the-year controversy that raises questions about Sfinkter's teaching methods, and his reason for becoming a teacher in the first place. Strong emotions create a backdrop for Frizzell's novel: fortitude, longing, jealousy, frustration, disappointment, anger and revenge—all generated by one man, Sfinkter. This is understandable given this character's personality. However, the character interactions with and reactions to this nefarious teacher raises some good discussion questions: "What qualifies a person for teaching," "What makes a good/bad teacher," and perhaps most relevant to the readers, "How should a student respond to an abusive teacher?" Chill is a good read for all teens, especially for the less popular and the artistically inclined. Frizzell develops his major and minor characters equally well; each is unique andauthentic, behaving in ways that, although somewhat predictable, are believable and realistic. This is one of the better Orca Soundings novels I've read.
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up
Chill is a talented artist. He also has a disability, a crippled leg. It has been a significant issue in his life, but it has made him a better artist by channeling his frustration. When a campaign ensues to have a mural painted at the front of the school, he is awarded the job. In the meantime, he has an immediate adverse reaction to his new English teacher. Chill's friend Sean, who narrates the story, wants to be a novelist and finds Mr. Sfinkter's attitude below par, yet wants to like him. Sfinkter promises to have one of his "publishers" look at the boy's work, which endears him to Sean but causes a rift between the teens. As the year progresses, the man repeatedly insults students, claiming that he is getting them ready for the real world. Chill's distaste for the man increases. When the mural is finally unveiled, he has painted a mad clown (Sfinkter) squishing the dreams of the kids in the school. The novel offers an interesting portrayal of how a teacher can affect a student's life. It is also a commentary on responsibility and the right and wrong way to approach issues that may come your way. Though it is written for teens in terms of plot and character, the content itself is based on a 3.5 reading level, making it perfect for struggling and reluctant readers.
—Emily GarrettCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Washington State Young Adult Review Group
*no details*
CM Magazine
"Frizzell reaches deep into the psyche of high school students...[and] respectfully emulates the voice of a teen."
"Frizzell mixes the right ingredients to please middle school boys."
NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
"This is a perfect title for struggling readers and will appeal to a variety of teen readers."
Canadian Book Review Annual
"The author has succeeded in capturing what teens think and feel. Highly recommended."

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Soundings Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chill's foot dragged behind him like a murder victim being taken to a shallow grave by a killer too weak to do the job—but he still stood straighter than any other kid in school.

Meet the Author

Colin Frizzell is an author, poet and screenwriter who was raised on a farm in Prince Edward County, Ontario. He is a Radio Broadcasting graduate of Loyalist College of Arts and Technology and has also studied television, film, acting, and improvisation as well as working on features in both Canada and the United Kingdom. Colin's books have received critical acclaim across North America, have been translated into Swedish and Norwegian, and have been adopted into the curriculum of several Ontario high schools. Visit for more information.

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Chill 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
KittyMeow More than 1 year ago
Chill by Colin Fizzel was an interesting book. It taught me a couple of things and what I learned was that, df you believe in something you should go for it , don't let people put you down you have to be proud of who you are and, real friends will tell you the truth even if it hurts. Colin Fizzel, the author made me feel that I was in situations I had never been before but I got to see things in a different way. It also showed me what real friends are. The setting of the book took place at school , it started in Glendale Elementary and from there it kept going until it reached high school. The main characters are Chill , Chill's best friend Sean, Chill's mom Orchid , Ms. Surette and Mr Sfinkster. Chill is the main character because he's the one that is being talked about during the whole book. He is described as a artistic, brave, friendly and respectful. Sean is more of a dreamer, writer , and a little stubborn with others. You could say he's a little jealous too. Orchid is brave , fighter, great mom, and a new cast reporter. Ms. Surette is very outgoing, nice and encouraging to her students. On the other hand , Mr. Sfinkter is very mean , rude, and self centered. He also puts all his students down by telling them that want to do in life is not right for them. Being able to find people or and an environment where you can feel comfortable around and act like your true self is hard.Especially when you are focusing on a goal that is very important to you. So when chill says, "'Anyone can do it ." Chill said."Most people just don't'" (Pg. 42), to me it means that he believes in everyone and even though he might not know you he would like to give you his support. He doesn't want you to give up. I haven't had friends that encourage me much like that and reading this book made me feel that I had someone to push me harder on what I wanted to accomplish. Chill notices that people are too afraid to follow their dreams or just don't believe in themselves enough to keep going. Ms. Surette has great quotes and this one is my favorite "'The future is bright if you're not afraid of the light'"(Pg 41) , because it's a true fact. You can't be afraid to face the challenges that might knock you down along the way to success. Changing for someone that deserves it is fine but if you are doing it for someone that doesn't deserve it then why change? You are who you are and you shouldn't ever change for anyone. When Ms. Surette says "'If you can survive until university with just a little bit of yourself still intact , the 'real world' will be a much better place than the one ,you are in now" Ms. Surette said '"(Pg 11) it shows how she wants her students to at least have a little bite of themselves because they should always be who they are and not change. Sean wants to be a writer but he doesn't have much faith in himself so when he said "' I wanted to be a writer but I thought it far out of my reach. And if Chill didn't have the talent to be an artist, I certainly didn't have what it took to be a writer'"(Pg 49) I get hat he feels useless since Mr. Sfinkster said he can't be a writer and put him down in many ways. Doing what is right always everyone feel good. You can never feel bad doing the right thing because it's right. Ms. Surette has a great part in helping the kids do what is right. Especially with Chill , because Chill really likes Ms. Surette. So when Ms. Surette tells Chill and Sean "that when opportunities and challenges arise, say
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
It's the sophomore year of high school, and best friends Chill and Sean will soon meet their new English teacher, Mr. Sfinkter, a man who loves to brag about his accomplishments as a published writer and who also seems to enjoy humiliating his students.

Sean, who wants to be a writer, doesn't think that the teacher is really that bad, especially after Mr. Sfinkter encouraged him to write a book, and promised him that he would help him get it published. But Chill, who gets picked on by Mr. Sfinkter all the time, knows that he's not a good teacher and is probably even far from being a good person. Chill tries to ignore him and dedicates most of his time to working on a mural he's painting for the school. But one day, Mr. Sfinkter crosses the line and makes fun of Chill's bum leg.

Bad move. Everyone in school knows that nobody messes with Chill.

With big type and 98 pages, this entertaining novel is perfect for those who don't like lengthy novels. Frizzell mixes the right ingredients to please middle school boys: a mean and abusive teacher, unfairly treated students, clueless school staff, and the cool kids out to teaching a grown up a lesson.