Scum

( 2 )

Overview

I have this weird feeling that the cops tossed a coin before they rang our doorbell-the loser gets to tell the family.

Megan's brother, Danny, is dead. Killed in an apparent robbery in a bar. It seems like a terrible but simple case of mistaken identity, of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But as the truth comes out, Megan realizes that Danny was "known to the police." He was in much deeper than she realized, and the police are not motivated to solve the crime. As ...

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Scum

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Overview

I have this weird feeling that the cops tossed a coin before they rang our doorbell-the loser gets to tell the family.

Megan's brother, Danny, is dead. Killed in an apparent robbery in a bar. It seems like a terrible but simple case of mistaken identity, of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But as the truth comes out, Megan realizes that Danny was "known to the police." He was in much deeper than she realized, and the police are not motivated to solve the crime. As Megan watches her family self-destruct, she decides she has to find the truth. But the truth is hard to come by, and there are people who will kill to keep it hidden.

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Editorial Reviews

Middler Books and More
"Reminds me of an episode of CSI or Law & Order in which people try to solve a crime but also deal with the personal aspects of the situation."
Resource Links
"Scum is full of suspense...[and] would make an excellent addition to intermediate classroom and school library collections."
Tucson Unified School District
"This is the stuff real life is made of and I highly recommend this to young teens who think dealing and taking drugs is the easy way to money."
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
"The book's willingness to forego hackneyed messages is refreshing...a quick but satisfying drama for those aware that darkness is only a step away in even the most comfortable lives."
TeensReadToo.com
"Dekker paints a painful picture of how death can tear apart those left behind."
NMRLS Youth Services Book Review
"The story moves along and provides enough plot twists to keep the reader engaged. All in all it's a solid, if not exceptional, title from Orca."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
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Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
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CM Magazine
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Children's Literature - Janice DeLong
When Megan's college-age brother Danny is shot and killed, she cannot rest until she has ferreted out the shooter. While her mother collapses and becomes a recluse and her father tries to make the household run smoothly, Megan simply cannot forget that somewhere in her town is a person who killed her brother. Breaking rules set by her parents, Megan ventures into the streets of town that she never would have visited without an adult. What she finds is not pretty. Eventually, some small shadow of assistance arises from an orphaned teen that busses the tables in the bar where Danny was shot and Megan has hope. However, when tragedy strikes again, Megan discovers the real nature of her older brother in a no-holds-barred confrontation with the bartender. Readers follow the path of danger and discouragement with the younger sister. They also get a glimpse of the destruction left in the wake of a happy-go-lucky young man who is deeply involved in recreational drug use. In ninety-five pages readers will find a story to remind them of the importance of staying clean and staying clear of drugs. Other Orca Soundings titles are listed in the back of this book. Reviewer: Janice DeLong
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551439242
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: Orca Soundings Series
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 1,377,991
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

James C. Dekker is a first-time author and a fresh new voice in teen fiction. He lives in Toronto, Ontario, and, as far as he knows, is not known to police.
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Read an Excerpt

At first my mother doesn't seem to understand. Why are there cops at our house? Why are they talking about Danny?

"Where is he?" she says. "Is he all right?"

The taller cop looks down at his partner. I have this weird feeling that they tossed a coin before they rang our doorbell--the loser gets to tell the family.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 30, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    SCUM is a brief novel that packs a punch. <BR/><BR/>Danny's violent death in a bar in the early hours one morning changes everything for his family and even touches the life of an innocent bystander. <BR/><BR/>It is everything a family fears when police detectives arrive at Megan's doorstep to bring the news of her brother's death. They tell Megan and her parents that he was shot in a bar and the shooting is under investigation. <BR/><BR/>Megan can't imagine that something like this could happen to her brother, although when she overhears a comment by the police stating that Danny had been "known to the police," she wonders if she really knew her brother. As the weeks pass there are no leads and the case is pushed aside, although the detective in charge of the case assures Megan's father they are still actively seeking information. <BR/><BR/>This lack of enthusiasm from the authorities causes Megan and her father to do some investigating of their own. It doesn't reveal anything new, but Megan does meet Titch, a young employee at the bar, and she hopes he might have some needed evidence. <BR/><BR/>Author James C. Dekker paints a painful picture of how death can tear apart those left behind. The survivors want to find answers, but they must also face their own grief and find a way to continue. Many often deal with the tragedy in different ways and at a different pace, only compounding the issues all must face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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