Gotcha!by Shelley Hrdlitschka
It's "bead season" at slippery rock high. This year the bead-snatching grad game called "Gotcha" has been banned as an official school activity because the teachers have decided to put an end to a dangerous tradition. After paying an entry fee the players are given a bead and someone's name. The object of the game is snatch the bead of your victim and take their
It's "bead season" at slippery rock high. This year the bead-snatching grad game called "Gotcha" has been banned as an official school activity because the teachers have decided to put an end to a dangerous tradition. After paying an entry fee the players are given a bead and someone's name. The object of the game is snatch the bead of your victim and take their name. The winner ends up with all the beads—and all the money.
After the game is banned it becomes even more appealing. The game goes underground and more grads than ever are participating. Katie is reluctant to join in, but as a member of grad council she feels she has to go along.
The game quickly spins out of control. Katie finds herself losing friends and falling victim to her classmates' obsession with the game. She considers dropping out of the game but then devises a better way of getting even with her classmates. Katie finds herself sliding further and further down the chute that leads to disaster. Can she bring a safe end to this deadly game?
Gr 7 Up
About to graduate from high school, Katie needs money for college, which motivates her to play a game banned by the school administration. Played only by seniors, Gotcha! has gone underground this year. The person who acquires the most beads from fellow players wins, and this year the jackpot exceeds $3000. Despite the competition bringing out the worst in people, the size of the prize makes it worthwhile even with the inevitable dangers. Friends betray friends. Students risk physical harm, trying to avoid having their beads captured. During the game, Katie seems to have acquired an added benefit: a boyfriend in Joel. Unfortunately, she doesn't know whether to trust that he really likes her or to believe he's angling to win the game. Worse, as class treasurer, Katie is keeping the prize money in her bank account, and she lends it to her dad, who recently left the family and has a gambling addiction. It's a long and circuitous path to the end of the story. The premise holds promise, but the execution is barely competent.-Catherine Ensley, Latah County Free Library District, Moscow, ID
Read an Excerpt
Warren stands tall and proud, still gorgeous despite his forced swim. He nods. "I’d like to thank you all for being so gullible, making it so easy for me to steal your beads."
An empty beer can is tossed at Warren's head, and then another.
"Back in the pond," Jerod orders.
Meet the Author
Shelley Hrdlitschka is the author of several novels for teens. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practicing yoga, Zumba dancing or volunteering at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. For more information, visit http://shelleyhrdlitschka.wordpress.com.
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