Bookshelf Reviews blog
"I’m the kind of person who has trouble starting new books. I’ll buy them, and plan to read them. But somehow there’s never time. My dad told me I should try reading Haze, so I started it on the spot. I got to page twenty-seven before we had even left the Bookshelf. On the way home, my dad tried to talk to me, but I had my nose in the book. I did not put it down once that day. I read it in the bath, I read it while I was walking downstairs, and I read it until I finished it. In other words, it was amazing."
Tacoma Public School District
"Perfect for older middle school and high school students who are struggling readers...Fast paced and will keep students interested and guessing what will happen next."
Library Media Connection
"With its quick pace and action-packed plot, this book is sure to be popular with its target audience of young male readers and will also appeal to reluctant readers."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"With its fast-moving plot and its easy-to-read format, Haze is a good choice for a student who wants to escape for awhile."
"Thomas writes efficiently and well. Her passages describing swimming are particularly vivid. The first-person narrative voice is strong and engaging. Haze is aimed at teenage boys and has all the elements to appeal to its target audience. It's short and exciting and an enjoyable read. Highly Recommended."
"An engaging mystery...This is certainly a title I will be happy to add to my collection."
Children's Literature - Sylvia Firth
Bram, a tenth grader, is attending Strathmore, a very exclusive school, on a scholarship. The story opens with him trying out for the school's swim team, the Sharks. Arrogantly, they call Bram, his roommate Droid and others trying to make the team "pond scum." Senior Jeremy Blackburn, from Bram's hometown and also on scholarship, is Bram's only friend on the team. Hazing is an accepted part of making the team. Jeremy possesses information about the death of a student that is related to hazing by the Sharks and their coach. After relating this to Bram, Jeremy is seriously injured in a hit-and-run accident and is in a coma. Now it is up to Bram and Jeremy's sister, Abby to try and follow up on an incriminating photo that Jeremy hid in the team weight room. Bram does not want to believe that the coach is involved, but when he discovers the truth, both he and Abby are kidnapped and taken out to sea where they are going to be killed. Will they escape and will the guilty parties be caught? This is the kind of action packed narrative that appeals to boys who are reluctant readers. If other books from this series, "Orca Sports," are in demand, consider adding this volume to the collection. Reviewer: Sylvia Firth
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Tenth-grader Bram attends prestigious Strathmore Academy on a swimming scholarship. Most of his teammates are wealthy, with the exception of Jeremy, a senior from Bram's hometown, Storrs. New team members are being hazed by upperclassmen. The book opens with Bram swimming in the pool while wearing a diaper and being called "pond scum." He discovers that Jeremy knows the truth about what happened the night a team member died years earlier. Jeremy also has proof that may ruin their highly regarded coach's career. He warns Bram to watch his back and not go to the big initiation party, but Jeremy is severely injured in a hit-and-run right before they planned to have another secret conversation. At first, Bram believes it was an accident but after details start to surface, he has to figure out whom to trust. As the tension escalates, Bram is trapped in a sauna and Jeremy's sister, Abby, goes missing. He escapes, and they end up together and are soon fighting for their lives and hoping to get the truth out. The plot may be a tad far-fetched with its tidy ending, but readers will root for Bram and Abby.—Lindsay Klemas, JM Rapport School for Career Development, Bronx, NY
Read an Excerpt
The Sharks called us "pond scum."
I breathed deep, like I always did before a race, filling my nose with the smell of chlorine. The Sharks were about to see that this pond scum could swim.