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Stained

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In Weaver Falls, New Hampshire, in 1975, seventeen-year-old Jocelyn looks for answers when her lifelong neighbor and friend, Gabe, turns up missing and she learns that, while her boyfriend has been telling everything to a priest, Gabe has been keeping terrible secrets.

In Weaver Falls, New Hampshire, in 1975, seventeen-year-old Jocelyn looks for answers when her lifelong neighbor and friend, Gabe, turns up missing and she learns that, while her boyfriend has been ...

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2005 Hardcover New jacket Brand New Hardcover with dust jacket, clean, tight, unmarked, some light cover edge wear() Jocelyn has two boys in her life. And a priest. Gabe has ... shared fourteen years of growing up next door. He's All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day. Read more Show Less

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Overview

In Weaver Falls, New Hampshire, in 1975, seventeen-year-old Jocelyn looks for answers when her lifelong neighbor and friend, Gabe, turns up missing and she learns that, while her boyfriend has been telling everything to a priest, Gabe has been keeping terrible secrets.

In Weaver Falls, New Hampshire, in 1975, seventeen-year-old Jocelyn looks for answers when her lifelong neighbor and friend, Gabe, turns up missing and she learns that, while her boyfriend has been telling everything to a priest, Gabe has been keeping terrible secrets.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In our Best Books citation, PW wrote, "This quietly powerful, expertly told tale set in 1975 stars a 17-year-old lapsed Catholic in a community of believers. A triumphant ending puts this girl with the `stained soul' squarely on the side of the angels." Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
KLIATT - Claire Rosser
To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, January 2005: Remember when The Chocolate War caused an outcry because Cormier wrote about flawed Catholic priests? Well, that was then, this is now. Now we aren't surprised to read a story about young people traumatized by their abusive relationships with priests. Jacobson sets her story about three adolescents in 1975. (If she had written the story in 1975 it would never have gotten published.) The narrator is Jocelyn, who has known her next-door neighbor Gabe all her life. She has always been an outsider, even estranged from Gabe, and so she treasures the newcomer Benny's affection for her. We don't know exactly what is going on sexually between Jocelyn and Benny, but we know Benny is feeling guilty about it and seeking counsel with the understanding priest, Father Warren. Benny avoids being with Jocelyn, and then Gabe disappears. His family and the community are desperate. Jocelyn knows some secrets from their childhood and eventually she finds Gabe, only to later discover he has had a sexual relationship with Father Warren and now wants to flee. You might think this is just too sensational a story for YAs. It's Jocelyn's voice that grips the reader with her honesty, her confusion, and her growing wisdom. Certainly, every teenager knows about the numerous court cases throughout the US involving Catholic priests and sex abuse cases—so such abuse is not a new subject for them. This carefully written novel tells how adolescents are vulnerable to sexual abuse, especially in the past when no one would have believed them if they had come forth with the truth. Gabe's confusion about his own sexuality, which only is complicated bythe moral leader, the priest, actually fostering a love affair between them, is enough to break most readers' hearts. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.)
Children's Literature
This young adult novel attempts to tackle some complex and controversial issues, like religion, teenage sex, and the need to fit in. The story is centered on Jocelyn, or Joss, who is in high school and in love with two different boys who each represent two different needs in her life. Both boys have a connection to the local priest, Father Warren, who holds a strange kind of power over them all. In the midst of that, Joss and the two boys each have issues with their parents that come into play in the story. Basically, the book chronicles the confusion and sadness that often accompany high school and the need each of us has for validation. The Roman Catholic Church, and Christianity, for that matter, is certainly not cast in a favorable light and it is hard to say what the message is exactly in regard to teenage sex. Although the issues are real and certainly found in today's media, it would be wise for parents to review this book before determining the appropriateness for their high-school student. 2005, Simon and Schuster, Ages 16 up.
—Sheree Van Vreede
KLIATT
Remember when The Chocolate War caused an outcry because Cormier wrote about flawed Catholic priests? Well, that was then, this is now. Now we aren't surprised to read a story about young people traumatized by their abusive relationships with priests. Jacobson sets her story about three adolescents in 1975. (If she had written the story in 1975 it would never have gotten published.) The narrator is Jocelyn, who has known her next-door neighbor Gabe all her life. She has always been an outsider, even estranged from Gabe, and so she treasures the newcomer Benny's affection for her. We don't know exactly what is going on sexually between Jocelyn and Benny, but we know Benny is feeling guilty about it and seeking counsel with the understanding priest, Father Warren. Benny avoids being with Jocelyn, and then Gabe disappears. His family and the community are desperate. Jocelyn knows some secrets from their childhood and eventually she finds Gabe, only to later discover he has had a sexual relationship with Father Warren and now wants to flee. You might think this is just too sensational a story for YAs. It's Jocelyn's voice that grips the reader with her honesty, her confusion, and her growing wisdom. Certainly, every teenager knows about the numerous court cases throughout the US involving Catholic priests and sex abuse cases—so such abuse is not a new subject for them. This carefully written novel tells how adolescents are vulnerable to sexual abuse, especially in the past when no one would have believed them if they had come forth with the truth. Gabe's confusion about his own sexuality, which only is complicated by the moral leader, the priest, actually fostering a love affairbetween them, is enough to break most readers' hearts. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2005, Simon & Schuster, 200p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Claire Rosser
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Sixteen-year-old Jocelyn alternates her narrative between the present of 1975, in which she grapples with an ambivalent boyfriend and the frightening disappearance of another boy whom she's known from early childhood, and the past of that childhood. Gabe, the boy who is missing, is shown to be, through Jocelyn's memories as well as his more recent actions, both strong willed and secretive. Jocelyn is clearly more stable than either Gabe or her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Benny. What she lacks, according to all three of them, is an acceptable attachment to redeeming traditionalism. This includes the fact that she never made her First Communion and seems content to be unchurched. Both Benny and Gabe seem to be influenced in some nefarious way, Jocelyn believes, by the local Roman Catholic priest. Benny tells her quite directly that she is his moral downfall because she is "stained." Jacobson creates some realistic teen characters in this tightly plotted but somewhat problematic novel about priest sex abuse. The adults here are flat and mostly unsavory or at least unsympathetic, except for Benny's virtually sainted but fatally ill mother. But that makes sense given that readers can see everyone only through Jocelyn's eyes. Less compelling is the priest's unexamined motivation. Whether or not readers have background knowledge of the ongoing Church scandal or traditional Catholicism, they will find much to consider and to discuss in this story.-Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Although set in the 1970s, this well-written and suspenseful story deals with contemporary issues. Flashbacks of Joss's childhood adventures with Gabe-who's missing-are wedged between chapters describing Joss's uncertainty over Benny, her God-fearing boyfriend who recently severed ties with her because of their physical attraction to one another. Joss has worried about having a "stained" soul ever since she was denied First Communion due to missing Sunday school. A disturbing incident involving Gabe and his cousin Jay heightened Joss's childhood fear that she was somehow tainted. The culminating blow comes when Benny admits that Father Warren told him to end his relationship with Joss because she is "in partnership with the devil." Meanwhile, Joss's memories guide her to Gabe's hideout after she's led to believe that his disappearance is also linked to Father Warren. The final message is one of hope and salvation after a shocking secret vindicates Joss, freeing her from needless guilt. Jacobson's admirable first work for young adults is one in which controversial topics are delicately handled. Provocative-and timely. (Fiction. YA)
From the Publisher
"Quietly powerful, expertly told." — Publishers Weekly

"Provocative—and timely." — Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689867453
  • Publisher: Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 208
  • Age range: 14 - 13 Years
  • Lexile: 660L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.38 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Richard Jacobson is the author of picture books, stories for beginning readers, and middle-grade novels. Stained is her first book written for young adults. Born and raised in New Hampshire, she attended Lesley College and Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives in a cottage, built in 1802, in Maine.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter Three

It's 3:52. Joe sees Benny waiting on the front steps of the Grill.

"Get out of here," Joe says to me. Benny's making him nervous.

I take my apron off, fold it into a square, and put it in my pocket. I open the door and stand on the top step.

"Come on," Benny says. He walks to the back of the Grill, where there's a trash house and a few crummy picnic tables. I follow, dragging my feet. The very first time Benny came by to pick me up at the Grill, he stepped down from the steps, stopped, and stared at me. He just stared and smiled.

"What?" I asked. "What is it?"

"You."

That's all he said. "You." Like that was all he ever asked for — all he ever needed.

Now Benny sits on a table that has a broken leg. The table wobbles. Flies hover.

"Let's go down to the river," I suggest. I want to take his hand and pull him down the bank, through the tall grass. I want to sit underneath the rushing falls.

"I can't, Jocelyn," he says.

"Why not?" My voice is that of Evil Soap Opera Girl. Evil Girl pretends to be sweet and innocent while deviously luring Boy away from goodness. Viewers know that Evil Girl is a manipulative bitch. But Boy doesn't figure it out. He wants to be lured.

Not Benny, though. Not this time.

"You know what will happen if we go down to the river."

I know. I know that if I draw lines on Benny's fingers or pictures on his strong forearms, he'll sigh. And he'll pull me close, and he'll listen, or at least pretend to listen to my reasoning about love while his fingers find the softer parts of my body. I will tell him that wanting to touch each other is instinctive, that we are only expressing our God-given feelings.

But, Benny will say, the Church says it's wrong. Father Warren says it's wrong. I gotta listen to what The Man says. He'll raise his eyes toward heaven as if I have just slithered up from the bowels of the earth and have no idea who "The Man" is.

Truth is, I don't know if what Benny and I do is wrong. I just know that it makes me feel wanted. Like someone is so very pleased that I am here on this earth.

"I made a deal, Jocelyn." Benny's voice is far away. Another town. Another universe. He fingers the silver Saint Christopher's medal around his neck, a medal for protection. Protection from me. "In church this morning I made a deal."

"For your mother?" I ask. But I already know the answer. Benny swapped being with me for his mother's life.

Benny nods. "You know I want to be with you, Joss. I think you're fantastic. You — God, this is so hard."

"Then don't do it, Benny. Don't do this to us."

"I have no choice, Joss." Benny puts his elbows on his knees and his head in his hands.

And I have no answers. We tried being "just friends," but it didn't keep. One of us makes a move toward the other, and it's all over. I turn and head home.

"Jocelyn. Come back!"

Benny follows for a ways. I know that he wants this to end well. I can feel him stop and stand in one place, hoping I'll turn around so he can do something magnanimous, like kissing me on the forehead. Or touching me on the cheek. Somebody taught him sweet. I want to stop, I really do, but I can't bear to have him tell me good-bye. I don't look back. I keep walking. It isn't until the big white town houses with porch swings turn to cabins with multiple additions and hanging tires and the sidewalks bleed into gravel that I buckle over and gasp for air.

Copyright © 2005 by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2007

    amazing

    this book was one of the best i have read, it made me cry at the end, i spend the whole night reading it because it was so good. i wish there was a sequel to it

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2012

    Ding dong

    The doorbell rings

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    The young man

    Starts singing softly, "When Jack, mischief-making, goes on night's blizzard run, when Moon Man fades softly, and gives way to Sun....."

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2012

    How long is this book

    Is this book long

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted November 15, 2010

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    Posted August 21, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2008

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