Shock Pointby April Henry
Cassie discovers that her stepfather, Rick, a teen psychiatrist, has been illegally prescribing a new behavioral drug to his patients-and three teens have died. Before she can report him, Rick commits Cassie to Peaceful Cove, a boot camp for troubled teens in Mexico. Cassie knows she has to get out now, before more teens die. But no one has ever escaped from… See more details below
Cassie discovers that her stepfather, Rick, a teen psychiatrist, has been illegally prescribing a new behavioral drug to his patients-and three teens have died. Before she can report him, Rick commits Cassie to Peaceful Cove, a boot camp for troubled teens in Mexico. Cassie knows she has to get out now, before more teens die. But no one has ever escaped from Peaceful Cove alive-and even if Cassie gets over the walls and survives the Mexican desert, will anyone believe her story?
Heidi Hauser Green
- Penguin Young Readers Group
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Sales rank:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
- Age Range:
- 12 Years
Meet the Author
April Henry lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Read an Excerpt
It was the rough hand over her mouth that convinced Cassie Streng that what was happening was real. That and the way the other man grabbed her legs.
Five minutes earlier, Cassie had gotten off the school bus and walked up the hill toward her house. A white van was parked in her driveway. She hadn't recognized the van. She barely recognized the house-after nearly 16 years of living in the same house, it was hard to get used to someplace you had only lived in for two months.
There was a squealing metal sound, like a door opening. Then hands grabbed her from behind. An enormous arm wrapped itself around her neck like a boa constrictor. She swung her open backpack up and behind her, and heard the man grunt as it connected. A pen bounced off Cassie's head and a book struck her shoulder. The man tore the backpack from her and flung it on the ground, then pulled her tighter against his fat belly.
Cassie started to scream, but then his hand was over her mouth, stifling her, pressing so hard that she felt the bridge of her nose shift.
This couldn't be happening to her. Cassie managed to catch a tiny fold of skin between her front teeth. She nipped it. Hard.
"Bitch!" hissed in her ear. The hand loosened for a second. She smelled fried food when she took a shuddery frantic breath, but then the hand was clamped down again, harder. No air, no air.
Another man ran in front of her and grabbed her ankles, easily swinging her up into the air. He was short and solid, with a dyed-black mullet.
"She's a sassy one," he said, and grinned. He was still grinning when Cassie kicked him in the face. Her shoe flew off her foot. Dropping one of Cassie's legs, he clamped a hand across his nose, which was now spurting blood. The hand across her mouth loosened. Cassie dragged another breath into her lungs, then let it out in a scream.
It wasn't as loud as she had hoped; there hadn't been enough air behind it. But surely her mother must have heard. Or the neighbors, then. One of them might be dialing 9-1-1 right now.
The men grabbed her again, no-nonsense now. The mullet-haired man lifted her other ankle and caught them both under his arm. The man behind her, the one she couldn't see, clamped his hand over her mouth again.
Holding her between them like a rolled-up carpet, the men began to maneuver her around to the back of the van. The doors were now open. Metal bars divided the front bench seat from the empty back. The floor was bare except for a rubber mat and a white five-gallon plastic bucket. An iron bar was bolted on one wall, and from it hung a two-foot-long loop of chain fastened with a metal lock.
The guy holding her legs grunted as he tried to step back and up into the van. Cassie started thrashing even harder, hoping to throw him off balance. If she could just get her feet under her!
She heard the front door bang open. Hope bloomed in her. Her mom! Cassie imagined Jackie with the phone in one hand and her stepfather Rick's gun in the other. That must have been what had taken her so long, unlocking the gun from its safe.
Her mom ran around the corner. No phone, no gun. Instead she held a suitcase in one hand. The other clutched a brochure, with a starfish on the front, to her swollen belly. Cassie almost didn't recognize Jackie. Her eyes were slits, red and swollen. Had they beaten her? Had they hurt the baby? Was her mom being kidnapped, too?
She arched her back even more frantically, managed to get her mouth free. "Mom-Mom! Help me! Mom!"
Her mom looked at Cassie, then away. Something was terribly wrong. Cassie felt like she had stepped out into the air, never noticing the staircase beneath her feet. The feeling of beginning to fall.
Behind her, cold metal clicked onto her wrists, so tight that it pinched her skin. Handcuffs. The man with the mullet let her feet go, and she fell against the man behind her.
In a strangled voice, Jackie spoke to the two men. "Wait! I don't-I don't know if this is right. Do you have to manhandle her like that?"
The man with his arm looped around Cassie's neck spoke. "They're tricky at this stage, ma'am. You can't ask them to come along quietly-because they won't. They will lie and manipulate until they've got you believing that what's up is down and what's black is white."
"Mom-what's happening?" Cassie asked in a choked whisper. "What's happening to me?"
"It's for the best, Cassie. They're going to help you." Jackie's drawn-in breath was like a sob.
"What? Mom, what are they doing? Where are you letting them take me?"
The man behind Cassie gave her shoulder a little shove. "Okay, ma'am, we need to get this show on the road." Cassie took one step, two, not resisting. Her mother handed the other one the suitcase and he threw it into the back of the van. He picked Cassie's shoe up off the lawn and threw that in, too.
She heard the front door open again, and looked over to see Rick coming out of the house. He came down the steps and put his arm around her mother. "That's right, Cassie. Just go along with these gentlemen. They're going to help you with your problems." "I don't have any problems!" she yelled. "It's you who has the problem!"
"Cassie-I found the crystal meth in your room. Don't try to lie."
Shock stiffened her spine. "What are you talking about? I don't use drugs." She appealed to her mom. "I don't! How can you even think that?"
But instead of turning to her, her mother looked up at Rick, her brows knitting together. "Be strong, Jackie. Would you rather see Cassie in jail-or dead? This is her only hope." The man behind Cassie shoved her. She sprawled onto the floor of the van, vainly trying to jerk her handcuffed arms forward to break her fall. Rough hands dragged Cassie forward, and turned her so that she was sitting. They unlocked the chain and slid it through her handcuffs, then clicked it closed again. She only had eyes for her mother. Surely Jackie couldn't allow this to happen. Surely she would know whom to believe. Instead of looking at Cassie, her mom pressed her face into Rick's neck. Absently, he patted her back, but his eyes didn't move. The last thing Cassie saw before the van doors slammed closed was her stepfather's cold stare.
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