The Emerson High Vigilantes

The Emerson High Vigilantes

by Gloria Miklowitz

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Paul, the editor of Emerson High's school paper, is thrilled when Brockrich, assured and popularasks him to manage his campaign for school president. Apparently, it doesn't bother Brock that his girlfriend Tiffany takes an obvious interest in Paul. Emerson is plagued with vandalism, theft and drug dealing, so Brock decides to run on a law-and-order platform. But he wants to do more to clean up the school: he, Tiffany and two other boys invite Paul to join the Knights of Honor to punish malefactors the way they deserve to be. The group's first action is vandalizing the car belonging to a black boy suspected of slashing tires. Next, they break into lockers and find drugs and a gun in a Hispanic teen's; as a result of that find, events get violently out of hand at the next caper. Paul wants out, but he doesn't want to lose Brock's friendship or Tiffany's admiration. Although there is a jarring shift from past to present tense, the story gallops on to an exciting denouement that will keep readers rooted through its thought-provoking conclusion. Miklowitz provides teens with a disquieting antidote to the Death Wish-style of vigilantism portrayed in movies and on TV. Ages 12-up. (April)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-9 In an effort to get in with the ``in crowd'' and to help rid his high school of the vandalism, theft, and drug dealing that he sees all around him, Paul Ross agrees to join a secret group calling themselves The Knights of Honor. His fascination with Tiffany, the leader's girlfriend, who suddenly seems to have an eye for Paul, also serves to draw him into what starts off as an earnest attempt to do right, but soon degenerates into teenage terrorism. The theme is timely. Unfortunately, Miklowitz doesn't take readers past the level of the headlines. Plot and characters are so predictable that they will not become involved in either. Dialogue is bland and does not sound realistic. Miklowitz raises important issues: the effects of integration on a large urban high school, the conflicting emotions of young characters caught up in a very real moral dilemma, the psychology of vigilantism, but she then never adequately underpins or addresses them. Many novels deal with contemporary social issues; you can pass this one up with a clear conscience. Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, B.C., Canada

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Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Age Range:
5 - 17 Years

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