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The Lottery
     

The Lottery

4.5 6
by Beth Goobie
 

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Every student at Saskatoon Collegiate knew that all the most important aspects of school life were controlled by a secret club called Shadow Council. Each fall, Shadow held a traditional lottery during which a single student's name was drawn. The rest of the student body called the student the lottery winner. But Shadow Council knew better; to them the winner was the

Overview

Every student at Saskatoon Collegiate knew that all the most important aspects of school life were controlled by a secret club called Shadow Council. Each fall, Shadow held a traditional lottery during which a single student's name was drawn. The rest of the student body called the student the lottery winner. But Shadow Council knew better; to them the winner was the lottery victim. Whatever the label, the fated student became the Council's go-fer, delivering messages of doom to selected targets. In response, the student body shunned the lottery winner for the entire year. This year's victim was fifteen-year-old Sally Hanson.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Canadian author Goobie (Before Wings) takes Shirley Jackson's classic short story "The Lottery" and transposes it to a YA problem novel; the results are intriguing in spots, but the happy ending lacks the original's impact. While the principal and teachers look the other way, the Shadow Council (aka "S.C.") rules Sally Hanson's high school, targeting other students for exceptionally cruel pranks. Every year, S.C. holds a lottery, and the "winner," delegated as S.C.'s messenger to fresh victims, will be wholly shunned by the student body. The dreaded role falls to Sally, and the attendant trauma and confusion compound Sally's mysterious problems (toward the end of the novel, readers learn that she was in the car with her alcoholic father when he fatally crashed seven years earlier and that she has felt responsible for his death). Playing pivotal parts in this dense drama are Sal's older brother who, along with his best friend, has a dark past history with S.C. (this, too, emerges at the end); a double-amputee fellow clarinetist in the school band; a mysterious classmate who turns out to be autistic; and the chameleon-like S.C. president, who plays first trumpet in the band and asks Sal to help him perform the duet he has composed. Though burdened by heavy-handed symbolism and extraneous detail, the novel raises potentially provocative questions about free choice, self-knowledge and guilt. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
VOYA
Although I really liked this book, it seemed unrealistic. I know I wouldn't have done what the main character did. I would have rebelled. I don't think a lot of kids would go along with being so mean to someone, let alone a whole school. But I enjoyed the book and read it straight through. I'd recommend it to others. VOYA CODES: 4Q 4P M J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2002, Orca, 272p,
— Jane Ray, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Goobie pays homage to two modern American classics by marrying the "winner-as-loser" hook of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery (Dramatic, 1953) with Robert Cormier's secret school cabal of The Chocolate War (Dell, 1993). Sal, 15, is chosen to be shunned by all her classmates at Saskatoon Collegiate. This macabre social scheme functions under the guise of a legitimate school club but is actually orchestrated by the secret Shadow Council to exact personal revenge and demonstrate its power. Goobie's writing can be engaging and convincing, as in the depiction of Sal's temporary "conversion" from innocent victim to willing participant. A major subplot involves Willis, President of Shadow Council and first-chair trumpet player, who secretly befriends third-part clarinetist Sal and practices with her, culminating in a perfectly rendered duet before a stunned and appreciative student body. Unfortunately, a plethora of disparate plot elements keeps the story from flowing credibly. Sal's guilt about the death of her father in a car crash and her relationships with her emotionally absent mother, her caring older brother, a friend whose brother attempts suicide, and another friend who uses a wheelchair since his car accident while high on LSD are elements that never quite gel. Toss in the use of LSD-spiked beer as a weapon of psychological control and unconvincing coincidences, and the important idea that we each play roles as victims and accomplices in countless acts of cruelty gets lost in the muddle.-Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
CM Magazine
"One of this year's 'must' purchases...Highly recommended."

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781554697410
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
10/01/2002
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Lexile:
940L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The third scroll was dropped onto her binder as she rushed between classes at mid-morning break. The halls were crowded, she hadn't seen anyone of note beside her—the scroll hadn't been there, then suddenly it was...To her left, she spotted an open maintenance closet, full of cleaning solutions and wet mops. Stepping in, she closed the door and fumbled for the light switch. Frantically she tore at the ribbon and the wax seal, not caring if the paper ripped...

As her eyes reluctantly returned to the black message scrawled across the page, the light bulb's electric after-image danced across her retinas, confusing her vision, but the third scroll's contents had already been seared deep into her memory.

Congratulations! You are this year's lottery winner.

Meet the Author

Beth Goobie is an award-winning author of a number of books for teens. Her book, Before Wings, won the CLA YA Book Award, was a Governor General's Award nominee, an ALA Best Book nominee and a Teen Top Ten.

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The Lottery 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book! I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes to read. I can't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book for required reading in my school, and I couldn't put it down. Beth Goobie made me feel like I was having the same emotions as the characters. I love a good non-fiction thrill ride and I enjoyed 'The Lottery' as much as the next person.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Amazing work - - completely on the edge, makes you want to read in one sitting. Very scary, sceptical the 'young adult' category should be reviewed - - definately for mature readers. Beth Goobie proves she's one of the best novelists around!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Lottery by Beth Goobie is the best book I have ever read, and believe me, I read alot. The emotion is so real, the charecters so well developed and complex, this book is as real as if it were living. You can feel Sally Hanson's emotions, relize with her, and get inside her head. It is so good it is almost overwhelming. I recommend this book to anyone who reads books.