Leslie's Journal [NOOK Book]

Overview

Leslie can’t seem to avoid trouble, whether it’s at school or at home. Just as life seems at its lowest, Jason McCready, the exceedingly cool new guy at school, enters her life. Now Leslie is the envy of all the girls. But Jason’s appearance is deceiving –he is determined to control every aspect of Leslie’s life and he begins terrorizing her in unimaginable ways.

When a substitute teacher reads the private English-class journal in which Leslie...
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Leslie's Journal

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Overview

Leslie can’t seem to avoid trouble, whether it’s at school or at home. Just as life seems at its lowest, Jason McCready, the exceedingly cool new guy at school, enters her life. Now Leslie is the envy of all the girls. But Jason’s appearance is deceiving –he is determined to control every aspect of Leslie’s life and he begins terrorizing her in unimaginable ways.

When a substitute teacher reads the private English-class journal in which Leslie reveals Jason’s abuse, Leslie is suddenly forced into hard choices and terrifying action to take back her life.
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Editorial Reviews

Marvin Hoffman
This book will cause any parent of young daughters to lose sleep.
—Houston Chronicle, March 11, 2001
Judy Sasges
An appealing protagonist ... her problems are real ... her emotions ring true.
VOYA
For Leslie, trying to survive tenth grade is a constant struggle. Coping with divorced parents, trying to hold on to a best friend who seems to be growing away from her, feeling unpopular at school—all these problems make Leslie bitter and frustrated. She hides her hurt with "inappropriate" clothes and smart remarks. Then she meets Jason, the mysterious new boy in school. Handsome and poised, he seems the perfect candidate to be Leslie's first boyfriend. Leslie is thrilled with the attention, but when Jason at first is interested only in sex and then begins pushing her around, the thrill turns to confusion. Is it love to want to hurt someone with words and fists? Is it love to threaten to blackmail someone with photographs? The more Leslie learns about Jason, the more frightened she becomes. She realizes that she must stand up for herself and the other young women abused by Jason. When her journal describing Jason's abuse is discovered by one of her teachers, Leslie finds the courage to testify against Jason in court. Leslie's Journal reads more like a novel than a teenager's journal, but the format will not deter readers, who are sure to find Leslie an appealing protagonist. Her problems are real, and although Leslie seems very naive for a fifteen-year-old, her emotions ring true. Date rape and abuse are relevant topics for many teen readers. The cover for the paperback edition is compelling. Set in Canada, this first novel by an award-winning playwright offers hope that by placing trust in friends, adults, and one's own sense of right and wrong, justice will win. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2000, Annick Press/Firefly, 176p, Trade pb. Ages 12 to 18. Reviewer: Judy Sasges VOYA, February 2001 (Vol. 23, No.6)
KLIATT
Written in first person, this somewhat dark novel will have wide appeal to the older teen audience but is more suited to public library collections. Leslie, in grade nine going into grade 10, is in desperate need of attention. She is constantly in trouble in school and her home life is not much better. She seems angry at the world and deals with her feelings by acting out and keeping a journal for her English class with the assurance that no one will read her private thoughts. Enter Jason McCready, a totally cool boy who gives her a wink the first time they bump into each other. Soon Jason and Leslie are an item and she is now the envy of her classmates. But on their first date Jason does not take Leslie to the movies like he said he was going to do. Instead he takes her home and gets her drunk. Suddenly Jason is pulling her dress back on, giving her money, putting her in a cab and telling her to leave because his parents are on their way home. It isn't until later that Leslie realizes what happened but by then it's too late; Jason has full control of Leslie's life. One minute Jason is wonderful and caring; the next he is threatening and abusive. Then her English teacher gets ill and the substitute reads all the private journals detailing what Jason has done to her, and Leslie's world shatters. In the end Leslie has to make some tough decisions about herself and her life and what it means to stand up for yourself. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2000, Firefly/Annick Press, 196p, 19cm, $8.95. Ages 16 to 18. Reviewer: Jamie Lyn Weaver; YA Libn., Geneva P.L., Geneva, IL January 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 1)
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up-This could be the Go Ask Alice (Avon, 1976) of this millennium. In a journal written for an English assignment, 10th-grade Leslie is completely honest; after all, Ms. Graham has promised never to read her students' work and to keep it in a locked cabinet. The language of this often irritating, often heartbreakingly naive young girl is right on target. Her life could be straight off the WB network; she has a single mom whom she loves but can't communicate with; a dad who recently moved in with his girlfriend; and a wild older boyfriend with whom she is totally obsessed. Fortunately, she has Katie, a steadfast friend who listens to her and believes in her. The relationship with Jason goes bad early on; he gets her drunk, rapes her, and takes Polaroid pictures of her. He is every parents' nightmare: insufferably polite up-front and rich enough to buy his way out of trouble. His behavior becomes increasingly abusive. When Leslie tries to break up with him, he stalks and threatens her. A new English teacher reads the diary and brings it to the attention of the principal, who takes Jason's side. Leslie fears for her life and runs away. This cautionary tale is not easy to read; few of the characters are likable. Most of the adults seem beset with their own personal problems. However, Leslie's voice demands to be heard and readers may learn to avoid her pitfalls. Gripping reading for a mature audience.-Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Horn Book Guide
Stratton captures the rhythms of teen speech, and the subject matter is treated subtly enough.
Houston Chronicle - Marvin Hoffman
I came to appreciate Stratton's ability to capture the way a girl like Leslie might succumb to a relationship the reader knows from the get-go is bad news ... This book will cause any parent of young daughters to lose sleep.
Canadian Materials - Carole Marion
Leslie's Journal is a realistic and thought-provoking glimpse into the mind of a frightened and desperate teenage girl. The writing style reflects Leslie's thoughts and can, in turn, be condescending, derogatory, profane and anti-establishment. Teens will relate to her struggle for independence and her cry for help. This is an exemplary first young adult novel for actor and playwright Allan Stratton.... It fills a gap in the market for books that deal with the dark side of relationships. It is a story of hope and conviction, and one that could give inner strength to any reader suffering from similar circumstances. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554513062
  • Publisher: Annick Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/26/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 924,726
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • File size: 376 KB

Meet the Author

Allan Stratton is an award-winning and internationally published and produced novelist and playwright. His novel Chanda's Secrets is a Michael L. Printz Honor Book. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
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First Chapter

Chapter 1

It's only the first week and already school sucks. I've got Ms. Graham again for English.

Today she said every class is going to start with fifteen minutes of journal writing, which is what we're doing now. This is supposed to train us to "reflect freely on our personal experiences." Oh yeah? It's to give her fifteen minutes with nothing to do.

Also, since our journals will be about personal feelings, she says she won't read them. "Your journal is just for you. So write, write, write. As with everything in this world, you'll get out of it what you put into it." According to her, this is a "Life Lesson." What it really is is an excuse for her to get out of marking.

A year of journals! Can I scream yet? It's so boring I keep forgetting to breathe. And each day when it's over she's going to collect them and lock them up in her filing cabinet, like we're a bunch of babies who'll lose them or something.

But okay. Journals beat having her teach. Last year, she either read aloud to us or we read aloud to her, then she'd stop and ask us stupid questions about what we'd just heard. This last part was hilarious, because nobody ever gave her an answer. We just stared up at her like we were dead and watched her eyes go funny. No kidding, her eyes were like gerbils. They darted around desperate for a hand to pop in the air till the silence got so bad she couldn't stand it anymore and blurted the answer herself.

Normal teachers would figure if students are passed out, maybe they should do something. LIKE, HELLO, MAYBE STOP ASKING DUMB QUESTIONS! But not Ms. Graham. She went from dumb to dumber. There'd be red patches on her neck and she'd be sweating and wiping the sweat from her hands to her dress. It was disgusting.

That's when she'd tell us to read the next chapter silently and answer the questions on handouts she'd pass around for homework. Which of course we never did. We pretended we hadn't heard her and the handouts didn't exist. At the end of class, we'd crumple them into balls and toss them in the general direction of the wastebasket. It's like, whole rain forests got clear-cut so Ms. Graham could stuff her filing cabinet with handouts that all ended up in the garbage.

Then, pretty soon, we pretended Ms. Graham didn't exist either. We'd come in, put our heads on our desks and go to sleep. Which was fine by her, I guess, because at least if we were sleeping we weren't throwing chalk. Or handouts.

It was sooo painful.

Near the end of the year, she went Missing in Action. They said she was away with chronic bronchitis, but we figured she was having a breakdown. Over the summer the story went around that she'd knocked over a shelf of light fixtures at Wal-Mart and ended up under a pile of lampshades babbling hysterically while trying to strangle herself with an electric cord till the ambulance came and hauled her off in a straitjacket.

Well, that's the rumor. And even if it isn't true, it should be, because obviously she's back for more and she's nutty as ever. Right now she's floating around with this vague look, smelling kind of stale in a pale gray billowy thing. She looks like a human dustball. Wait. She's just come to rest in front of the window. She's looking out. Maybe she's thinking of jumping.

It's kind of sad, really. I mean, if she wasn't a teacher, I'd feel sorry for her. Once upon a time she was somebody's baby, playing patty-cakes and having everybody kissing her and saying she was a cutie. Then she grew up. I picture her all alone in some tiny apartment, surrounded by cats and stacks of unmarked assignments, praying that tomorrow will be better. And it never is.

Poor Ms. Graham. It's not like she wants to be boring. That's why I almost feel guilty when we torture her. Who we should torture -- really, really torture, with hot coals and a pair of hedge clippers -- is Nicky Wicks. He has short greasy hair, cystic acne and a squishy tongue he likes to stick in girls' ears for a joke. He also has a dent in his forehead from where somebody hit him with a shovel when he was little. Too bad they didn't hit harder.

Nicky is the grossest pig in the school, and in this school there's a lot of competition. He only has one redeeming feature. If you want to lose weight, think about making out with him. You won't be able to eat for a week.

Anyway, Nicky "Pus-head" Wicks worked it so he sits one seat ahead of me in three separate classes. What's worse, he apparently thinks it is majorly funny to stick a couple of pencils up his nose and pretend to be a walrus.
The real reason he does this is to have an excuse to let his pencils fall on the floor so he can bend down to pick them up and look up my skirt while he's at it.

Today I got my revenge. I waited till lunch, when I knew he'd be in the cafeteria with lots of people all around. Then I marched up to his table and said in a big loud voice, "Hey, Pus-head, you look up my skirt one more time and I'll personally pop your zits with my nail file!"

There was this roar of laughter, hooting and footstomping. Nicky was so embarrassed, I thought his cysts would explode. As for me, I just snapped my fingers and diva-ed my way to the parking lot for a smoke.

That's where I met the vice-principal, Mr. Manley, out on a little narc duty. "I want to see you in my office, young lady."

Sorry, journal, according to Ms. Graham it's time for you to go into the filing cabinet. Tomorrow, I'll tell you what happened with the Nazi.

P.S. Dear Ms. Graham: You promised our journals were going to be private. So in case you're secretly reading this to get some cheap thrills, you are nothing but a crazy perverted liar, and it's not my fault if it sends you over the edge.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2014

    Teen dating violence

    This book is a fast read for us teens. It shows how a picture perfect relationship can easily turn into a bloody battle. Although this is a fictional novel, things like this happen in real life. And possibly lead to murder or suicide. The bottom line is this is a heartbreaking novel that can teach everyday teens a lesson or two.

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  • Posted April 27, 2010

    Excelente

    This book goes inside the mind of a unforgetable girl. This book is recommnded to any girl in this same sitution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing and Unforgettable

    This book was an amazing read. I couldn't take my eyes away from it. The story tells of a typical and curious teenage girl, just looking for some attention. She doesn't get enough of it where she needs it, so she goes looking for it in a different place. She finally gets that attention she's wanted so badly, and she finally feels like she belongs-but is it worth it? Leslie's Journal is informative, thrilling, and riveting. It may be a very sensitive topic for some readers, but even so, it is definitely worth reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2008

    Unsure?

    I'm in the process of reading this book. It's quite enjoyable, but I'm disappointed by a lack of maturity in the characters. This is supposed to be high school, and it feels like middle school all over again for me. Hopefully it will get better!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2006

    One of the Best Books I've ever read!!!

    Leslie's Journal really spoke through to me. I just finished it and I thought to myself, Leslie is the voice of every girl. I admire how Leslie found the courage to confront Jason and not let his threats destroy her life. I also liked that Katie stood by her friend through everything and never betrayed a confidence. Leslie's Journal is one of the Best Books ever written. You must buy this Book!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2006

    GREAT

    I don't really remember all the details of this book since I read it quite a while ago, but I do remember that it is excellent and really interseting! I recommend this book to all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2004

    loved this book

    This is still one of my favorite books. It's one of those books that you hate to put down. I think that all teen girls should this just to be aware that stuff like this does happen. I hope this book gets turned into a movie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2004

    fabulous book

    A capturing story;every girl should read it,to show them just how much a guy can be cappable of. If I was a teacher in a teen issues class, this would be on my reading list. I read it in 4 hours, and I couldn't put it down. Sriously, if you are looking for a great book, pick this one up. P.S. for all you girls out there who are going through what she did, you aren't alone, it's happened to me too, and someday things will be ok, my heart goes out to all of you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2003

    best book in the world!!!!!!

    this book has got to be one of the best in the world. i would recomend it anyone and everyone. when you're reading this book you feel like you are leslie and you feel her pain and troubles. this book will capture you and it will stay with you forever. it is a must read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2003

    Leslie's Journal

    This book was great. Every second of the book was filled with interesting thigs there is not a dull moment from the first sentence of the book to the last. I read it in one sitting. An Amazing book ...................................................................... ............................................................ The book was about a angst-ridden teen who's parents are going through the process of a brake-up. She has one friend at school and her friend hangs out with a bunch of girls who she does not like. Anyways theres a new kid at school, Jason, and everyone likes him well he asked Leslie out and of course she said yes. Well one the first date he brings her to his basement and she gets drunk and passes out. The next thing she knows he is pushing her out of his house and she realizes he had sex with her passed out body. She starts to freak out because even though she comes off as a Bas-a$$ she has not done anything more than kiss. He starts to get abusive and giving her pills so she will not fight off when they have sex. She records all of what is happening to her and a substitute reads the jornal and her boy-friend finds out he gets even worst and she brakes up with him. He starts to leave her note in her locker and stalking her. He tells her he has a picture of her passed out naked at his house. She sneaks in his house and finds other girls pictures as well as her own. She contacts one of the girls from one of the pictures and she begs Leslie to burn her picture and not tell anyone. Leslie asks the girl about the other girl from the picture and she tells her she commited suicide because she could not take Jason anymore.....I can't tell you how it ends you will have to read it for your self.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2003

    intense and true

    this book was very true. you can learn alot and it can help anyone going through what leslie went through

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Leslie's Journal

    I loved leslie's Jornal!! The thing that go me hooked was at the begining he anger I love that in a character. The book was very interesting and it made me read it in one sitting!! I would recommend this book to and young Adult reader. It was about a girl who gets caught up with this guy and he starts to get abusive. ALSO ENJOYED: Go Ask Alice, Among The Betrayed, Every Time A Rainbow Dies, The Cage, I Have Lived A Thousand Years, If I should Die Before I Wake, Speak, Born Blue, Gathering Blue, The Giver, The Torn Skirt, Breathing Underwater, and Darkness Before Dawn, Samck, and Black Eyed Suzie.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2003

    Trials and Tribulations for Leslie

    Leslie's journal is a vent for her encounters with her peers, family, teachers, and her new love, Jason. Her journal, however, is read by a substitute teacher and her tribulations really begin. Will she, can she break away from Jason? Can she break out of the bad girl image with the help of her friend, Katie? Will Katie help Leslie in her most desperate hour? Read Leslie's Journal and seek out the answer to these questions. This is a compelling book which brings to life the struggles of an outcast with emotional problems. The book is frank and to the point with nothing left out. The language, though rough, makes the book believable and sheds some light on socialization at the high school level. I enjoyed the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 11, 2003

    This book is perfect for teenage girls

    When I first read the title of this book i knew it would be interesting.once i picked up this book i could not put it down.i read this book over and over again.i eventually had to take it back to my school library though, but i now want to buy it.i would recommend this book to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2002

    You should read this book

    This book helped me realize that i dont have to put up with what i am when i read this book i saw my life and it scared me in a way but in a way it was cool i think every one should read this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2002

    great book!!!!

    oh my god!This book talks about how leslie stands up for herself and writting it all down in her journal.This book also talks about real issues that are really happening today. the author made the story seem so real like a movie or t.v show.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2002

    =D

    I rented this book from the library at my high school. I just picked it because we had a time limit and i needed a book to write a review on. However, the moment I opened the book, I knew I was going to love it. The way he captured the feelings of a teenaged girl was amazing, he made the book come alive with truth, and this is my favorite book!! I highly encourage you to read this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    An Awesome Book

    I thought this book was absolutley amazing. It's not very long, I had it done within a day. But the way he wrote the characters was amazing. It is definitly worth your time to read Leslie's Journal. It's the story of a girl named Leslie who has to write in a dumb English journal for her English class, and through that journal she writes down exactly everything that happens between her and her new boyfriend, Jason, who is secretly abusing her. A story of triumph and tragedy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2002

    Excellent Book!!!!!!!

    This was one of the best books I've read so far! It about Leslie and how she meets this boy who 'sweeps her off her feet' and he stalks her and stuff. A very good book for teens and even pre-teens!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2002

    Leslies Journal

    This is a really good book for teenagers. It helps a teen when they fall in love with someone and it turns out, its to good to be true. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews

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