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
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
Tri State Young Adult Book Review Committee
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."
"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."
"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."
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.