Panic

Panic

4.0 22
by Sharon M. Draper
     
 

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This gripping, chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, “by turns pulse-pounding and inspiring” (Kirkus Reviews), shows that all it takes is one bad decision for a dream to become a nightmare.

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressedSee more details below

Overview

This gripping, chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, “by turns pulse-pounding and inspiring” (Kirkus Reviews), shows that all it takes is one bad decision for a dream to become a nightmare.

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?

Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Tina Chan
Sixteen-year-old Diamond Landers goes missing after she willingly leaves the mall with a handsome, well dressed stranger named Thane, who strikes a conversation with her. Diamond is a dance student, and Thane says he is an assistant film director looking to cast the role of a dancer. He convinces her to go home with him to meet his teenage daughter and some celebrities. Intrigued, she goes with him. She soon discovers she is the victim of sadomasochist behavior with men that is shown online. Worried, Diamond’s family and friends try to find her with the help of the police. Meanwhile, her best friend Mercedes blames herself for staying in the store to buy a pair of tights while Diamond went to the food court, where she met Thane. Their friend Layla has a love-hate relationship with her boyfriend, Donovan, who physically and mentally abuses her, while Justin has a crush on her. An exciting and educational read for teens, this story helps readers think twice about their actions and consequences. The author includes website resources about teen dating abuse and child predators. Reviewer: Tina Chan; Ages 14 up.
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Draper has created a nurturing setting for her characters in the Crystal Pointe Dance Academy where students have been dancing and working together for years. Miss Ginger, their instructor, provides support and challenge in endeavors like the spring showcase or the upcoming production of Peter Pan. Diamond, 15, is swept off her feet by a stranger's promise of an audition for a movie when he finds her alone at the mall. Her BFF, Mercedes, gets a cryptic text before they are to meet at the food court to go to the academy for a performance. Through drugs and restraints, villainous Thane and his henchmen cameramen, as well as other paying participants, abuse Diamond as the unwilling star in Internet pornography for days. Meanwhile, with only intermittent plot coverage of Diamond's ordeal, the dance academy and school hold vigils and worry about their classmate. Most chapters actually deal with Layla: she doesn't acknowledge fellow dancer Justin's crush because she is more concerned about boyfriend, Donny, who gets dangerous and abuses her when he feels jealous or insecure. Layla suffers from some bad judgment, a mostly absentee mother, and the challenge of her father being released after six years in prison. This realistic novel takes on too many characters and plotlines, and the scattershot approach may leave readers less engaged and invested. Dance enthusiasts should enjoy the depictions of costumes, jitters, daunting roles, and therapeutic workouts. However, multiple issues-bullying, kidnapping, sexual enslavement by a predator-pedophile, abusive teen relationships, and sexting-result in hot-button overload.—Suzanne Gordon, Lanier High School, Sugar Hill, GA
Publishers Weekly
A tumultuous week in the lives of students at the Crystal Pointe Dance Academy is told through a variety of viewpoints. Justin, the academy's principal male dancer, must continually defend himself against homophobic taunts while he pines for Layla, whose low self-esteem keeps her locked in an abusive relationship. Zizi is an airhead, and Mercedes lives under the thumb of her oppressively rigid mother. Then there is Diamond, who goes to the mall for dance tights and leaves with a handsome older man who has promised her a film audition. As readers will likely predict, the film Thane is making will not be rated G. Diamond is drugged, tied to a bed, and raped repeatedly in the presence of some burly cameramen, who post the film online and rake in money. Diamond's chapters are brutal but, perhaps mercifully, they are few and far between; the story sidetracks frequently to other characters' less urgent dramas. Draper writes about the lives of teenagers with authority and believable dialogue, but the juxtaposition of banal moments with Diamond's nightmare makes the sexual violence feel uncomfortably trivialized. Ages 14–up. (Apr.)
Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com - Richie Partington
"Sharon M. Draper's PANIC is an outstanding book... [This is] high-interest contemporary fiction — a book that many readers will gulp down in one evening. It is a story that addresses important issues (like never getting into cars with strangers, and never letting your high school boyfriend take photos of you that you wouldn't want your parents to see). Thus, it is a book that could quite likely save lives and reputations. Some astute readers will recognize how these issues all relate to the objectification of women in our culture. And it is for these reasons that PANIC will be an important addition to middle school and high school collections. With a little luck, there will be lots of young adolescents who read it and learn the consequences of risky behaviors — without having to learn them the hard way."
From the Publisher
"A troupe of high school dance students is rocked when one of their number disappears.

The Crystal Pointe Dance Academy is a refuge for the group of students who take classes and participate in dance recitals. Each of them—Diamond, Layla, Mercedes and Justin, the only boy in the group—has a different reason to dance, but they all want to earn a role in the upcoming production of Peter Pan. When Diamond disappears during a routine trip to the mall, the close-knit group is thrown into emotional turmoil that mounts as the days go by. As it turns out, Diamond has been lured by a sexual predator dangling the promise of a movie audition and finds herself in a dire situation. While the four main characters alternate narration, this is really a two-sided story: Diamond’s story of abduction and exploitation, and the everyday concerns her friends face back home. The other dancers face tough situations, from relationship conflicts to a parent returning home after a long incarceration. Diamond’s story, though, with elements of suspense and sexual horror, is the more interesting of the two, and readers will find themselves impatient to get back to her ordeal, which is depicted frankly but with sensitivity. Threading through it all is the importance of the arts as a vehicle to get through tough times.

By turns pulse-pounding and inspiring."

"Sharon M. Draper's PANIC is an outstanding book... [This is] high-interest contemporary fiction — a book that many readers will gulp down in one evening. It is a story that addresses important issues (like never getting into cars with strangers, and never letting your high school boyfriend take photos of you that you wouldn't want your parents to see). Thus, it is a book that could quite likely save lives and reputations. Some astute readers will recognize how these issues all relate to the objectification of women in our culture. And it is for these reasons that PANIC will be an important addition to middle school and high school collections. With a little luck, there will be lots of young adolescents who read it and learn the consequences of risky behaviors — without having to learn them the hard way."

* "Balances a suspenseful plot and the emotional growth of her characters with ease and grace."

starred review Shelf Awareness
* "Balances a suspenseful plot and the emotional growth of her characters with ease and grace."
Kirkus Reviews
A troupe of high school dance students is rocked when one of their number disappears. The Crystal Pointe Dance Academy is a refuge for the group of students who take classes and participate in dance recitals. Each of them--Diamond, Layla, Mercedes and Justin, the only boy in the group--has a different reason to dance, but they all want to earn a role in the upcoming production of Peter Pan. When Diamond disappears during a routine trip to the mall, the close-knit group is thrown into emotional turmoil that mounts as the days go by. As it turns out, Diamond has been lured by a sexual predator dangling the promise of a movie audition and finds herself in a dire situation. While the four main characters alternate narration, this is really a two-sided story: Diamond's story of abduction and exploitation, and the everyday concerns her friends face back home. The other dancers face tough situations, from relationship conflicts to a parent returning home after a long incarceration. Diamond's story, though, with elements of suspense and sexual horror, is the more interesting of the two, and readers will find themselves impatient to get back to her ordeal, which is depicted frankly but with sensitivity. Threading through it all is the importance of the arts as a vehicle to get through tough times. By turns pulse-pounding and inspiring. (Fiction. 14 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781442408982
Publisher:
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
03/12/2013
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
121,100
Lexile:
HL610L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

1

JUSTIN, Friday, April 12 4 p.m.

“ ‘Proud and insolent youth,’ said Hook, ‘prepare to meet thy doom.’

“ ‘Dark and sinister man,’ Peter answered, ‘have at thee.’ ”

—from Peter Pan

“Hey, dance boy!”

Sixteen-year-old Justin Braddock, wearing his favorite Timberland boots, tromped down the rain-slicked sidewalk, book bag slung over his left shoulder, heading to the bus stop. He did not turn around—he knew who trailed behind him.

“You heard me, dancing queen! Don’t be tiptoeing away, now.”

Justin sighed. Another fight.

Zac Patterson, the wrestling team’s “sultan of the slam,” was known to brandish both his biceps and equally massive ego. He yelled louder. “What up, fag!”

“Swish!” added Ben Bones. Justin knew Bones would be hovering just a few steps behind Zac, safe like a shadow.

Justin tried to ignore the idiots behind him. Guys had been teasing him for years, ever since he started taking dance lessons. He was as tall as Zac, more muscled than Bones. But most guys seemed clueless about the athletic skills required for the leaps and lifts he had mastered. And none of them knew how much he loved it.

“Look how he twitches those hips!” Zac jeered.

Justin wondered, amused, why Zac was so interested in his butt.

“Got your shiny pink toe shoes stuffed in that bag? Who braids your hair—yo mama?” Bones asked, laughing loudly with Zac.

“Your mama wears a tutu too!” Zac and Bones hooted with laughter.

Justin stopped walking. He tossed his backpack on the ground and spun around. “Don’t you talk about my mother!” he hissed. A surge of rage and sorrow coursed through him. His mother had died less than a year before, and it felt like yesterday. It felt like forever.

“Your mama so stupid, she tried to put her M&M’s in alphabetical order!” Bones sniped, still standing safely behind Zac.

Justin was not in a mood to play the dozens. Not today. Not ever. Not about his mom.

“Your mama twice the man you are,” Zac sneered.

Nope.

Not today.

Justin did not hesitate. He wheeled around, tightened his right fist, then, with a whump, he planted a direct blow to the center of Zac’s gut.

Zac, all two hundred pounds of him, crumpled in a heap on the sidewalk. “Oomph,” he managed to mumble.

Bones, looking terrified, placed both his hands in a strategic position to protect himself, but Justin just glared at him.

“Dance with that!” Justin said as he picked up his pack. He continued down the street and did not look back.

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What People are saying about this

Richie's Picks http://richiespicks.com - Richie Partington
"Sharon M. Draper's PANIC is an outstanding book... [This is] high-interest contemporary fiction — a book that many readers will gulp down in one evening. It is a story that addresses important issues (like never getting into cars with strangers, and never letting your high school boyfriend take photos of you that you wouldn't want your parents to see). Thus, it is a book that could quite likely save lives and reputations. Some astute readers will recognize how these issues all relate to the objectification of women in our culture. And it is for these reasons that PANIC will be an important addition to middle school and high school collections. With a little luck, there will be lots of young adolescents who read it and learn the consequences of risky behaviors — without having to learn them the hard way.

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