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The Shadow Club Rising

The Shadow Club Rising

4.1 7
by Neal Shusterman

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The Shadow Club doesn't exist anymore.  The group of second-best kids used to play anonymous practical jokes on their rivals, until things spiraled out of control. Now Jared and the ex-Shadow Club members are having a hard time shaking their reputation. And when the new golden boy at school is the victim of a series of nasty pranks, everyone's convinced Jared is


The Shadow Club doesn't exist anymore.  The group of second-best kids used to play anonymous practical jokes on their rivals, until things spiraled out of control. Now Jared and the ex-Shadow Club members are having a hard time shaking their reputation. And when the new golden boy at school is the victim of a series of nasty pranks, everyone's convinced Jared is to blame.  Determined to prove his innocence, Jared soon becomes wrapped up in a nightmare worse than anything the Shadow Club ever caused.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In one of those rare sequels that surpass the original, Shusterman delivers thrilling suspense." -Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Falsely accused of playing mean-spirited pranks on new kid Alec Smaartz, Jared seeks to rebuild his reputation by enlisting the help of former Shadow Club members in Neal Shusterman's The Shadow Club Rising. His request rebuffed, the ex-ringleader must assume a role more sinister than he ever imagined in this sequel to The Shadow Club (1988), which PW called "an engrossing book," being reissued simultaneously. ( Feb.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
This sequel to The Shadow Club is a terrifically entertaining thriller and an object lesson in the fact that the evil that men—or kids—do really DOES live on and on. In the first book, a group of second-string kids played pranks because they thought it leveled the playing field. The "jokes" soon turned ugly and things got way out of hand. Now, club leader Jared Mercer is sincerely trying to atone for his past misdeeds but finds most people are loath to forgive. "People see you the way they want to see you," Shusterman writes, "and sometimes they manage to turn you into the very thing they want to see." When a seemingly perfect new kid becomes victimized by increasingly vicious pranks, everyone assumes that Jason is to blame. Where do you turn for help when even your own parents don't trust you? Shusterman's plotting is intricate and his characterizations vivid, and he builds a slow, fine sense of dread until the literally breathtaking climax. Any kid who has ever been wrongly accused will inhale this book, and any teacher who wants to start a stimulating discussion about right and wrong should assign this book. 2002, Dutton Children's Books,
— Donna Freedman
This exciting sequel to Shusterman's prize-winning The Shadow Club takes up the story of 14-year-old Jared a few months after the Shadow Club has been disbanded. The club, of which he had been a member, consisted of second-best kids who started out playing pranks that eventually spun dangerously out of control. Jared had pushed one boy, Tyson, into setting a fire that burned down his house and nearly killed the two of them. Now Tyson lives with Jared's family, and both boys are trying to make new starts—though Jared is learning that others still view them suspiciously. Then a new boy, Alec, comes to town, and the effect is "like a cannonball jump into a still pool." Trouble is stirred up again. Alec is determined to be the best at everything, and someone is determined to put him in his place by playing pranks on him. Jared knows it isn't him, despite what his friends, his parents, the police, and the school administrators think, but who could it be? Has the Shadow Club risen again? Jared is intent on proving his innocence before tragedy strikes again. While it's helpful to have read The Shadow Club, this can stand on its own, as much of the plot of the first book is recapped here. This swiftly moving story is a good choice for reluctant readers, and can prompt discussions of issues of anger, vengeance, trust, and reparations. The ending, in a neat if not entirely credible twist, has the former members of the club engaging in "good-deed terrorism," inflicting help on those who need it. Lots of action and an intriguing "former bad boy trying to make good" protagonist make this a gripping read. Category: Hardcover Fiction. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior highschool students. 2002, Penguin Putnam, Dutton, 202p., Ages 13 to 15. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick; KLIATT
Fourteen-year-old Jared is trying to live down his reputation as leader of the Shadow Club, a club for second-best kids started by Jared and his friend, Cheryl, earlier in the school year with disastrous consequences. When a new kid, Alec Smartz, arrives at school, Jared is selected to show him around and introduce him to students and teachers. Then he discovers that Alec excels at everything he attempts and that Alec and Cheryl are dating. Other kids at school begin to complain about Alec's attitude of superiority, and some even suggest that someone ought to do something about him. Although the club has disbanded, when pranks similar to those done by the Shadow Club begin happening to the new kid, Jared is the prime suspect. Jared is forced to assume the role of a disrespectful punk and troublemaker as he searches for the real culprit. This sequel to The Shadow Club (Little Brown, 1988/VOYA June 1988) picks up exactly where the first book ended and stands alone or reads well in sequence. The author deftly narrates a suspenseful story of fundamentally good kids caught up in intrigues and events that test their ingenuity and loyalty to each other. Skillfully written to divulge clues but not give away the ending, the plot moves along quickly and sustains the tension until the last page. VOYA CODES: 5Q 4P M J (Hard to imagine it being any better written; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2002, Dutton, 192p, $15.99. Ages 11 to 15. Reviewer: Rosemary Moran SOURCE: VOYA, February 2002 (Vol. 24, No.6)
School Library Journal
Gr 7-10-Murky introspection by Jared, 15, gradually reveals that he had formed a secret club of kids who were always second best during the previous year (The Shadow Club [Little, Brown, 1988; o.p., Dutton, 2002]). The members tormented their betters in small, harmless ways that then escalated out of control, culminating in a terrible fire that Jared and a boy named Tyson barely survived. The club disbanded. Now Alec, a new kid, arrives at school acting as if he owns the place. He seems to excel at everything and soon becomes a target of just the kind of pranks the Shadow Club might have pulled-a hairball in his soft drink, a skunk tossed in his family's van, glue substituted for his hair gel. Jared knows he's not responsible, but isn't sure about the rest of the crew. His attempts to ferret out the truth climax in another life-and-death struggle in which the culprits are discovered and the tide is turned in favor of good deeds instead of harmful ones. Although the theme that people can make horrible mistakes and change for the better is worthwhile, the book is marred by shallow characterization and a screenplay-styled plot that includes several incidents that strain credibility to the breaking point. In what way is Tyson "creepy" and what makes him an expert coach for Jared in how to be unwholesome? What motivates one teen to be so mean and nasty? Readers won't know much about the answers to these questions if this book is read alone. Rereading the first one sheds a feeble light, but still may leave readers languishing too much in the dark.-Joel Shoemaker, Southeast Junior High School, Iowa City, IA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Coinciding with the re-release of Shusterman's first novel (The Shadow Club, 1988), this sequel addresses the lingering consequences of hatred and revenge. Ninth-grader Jared Mercer wants desperately to be just another kid; but as the ex-leader of the Shadow Club, infamous for terrorizing outstanding students with nasty practical jokes, he remains the focus of lingering suspicion, resentment, and (most disturbing) admiration. His guilt over his actions turns to apprehension when superstar student Alec Smartz arrives, for Alec's competitive drive evokes as much jealousy as popularity. Sure enough, the pranks start up again-harmless at first, but progressively more sinister-and everyone, even his parents, is convinced that Jared is to blame. In order to protect Alec and clear his own name, Jared must become the monster that everyone assumes he already is. In one of those rare sequels that surpass the original, Shusterman delivers thrilling suspense through probing the dark side of the adolescent psyche. Nuanced characterization ensures that there are no clear-cut villains or heroes; even the upbeat ending has a disturbingly creepy edge. As a remorseful former menace, Jared is a less provocative character than the vengeful bully of the first novel, but he is also much more self-aware and likable. His wry observations on how good people can delude themselves into justifying the most appalling acts seem particularly timely. The mystery and nonstop action will draw teens in; but the uncomfortable questions raised about guilt and responsibility will linger on. (Fiction. 11-15)

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
4.13(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.41(d)
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"In one of those rare sequels that surpass the original, Shusterman delivers thrilling suspense." -Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Neal Shusterman is an award-winning author and screenwriter.  He lives in Southern California with his four children.

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The Shadow Club Rising 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Shadow Club Rising The Shadow Club is a great book about a group of kids who are always coming in second place. They form a club and pull cruel pranks on their rivals. The club ended in the first book, but the new kid, Alec is good at everything. This made people furious. So someone starts playing pranks on him. All fingers are pointed at Jared, the used to be leader of the Shadow Club. Even though he is not the one doing it, he has to prove his innocence. Even though Jared doesn¿t like Alec, he would pull pranks on him. The group that hung around Alec started to wear denim hats with the initials TSC on it. They said the initials mean the tennis and squash center. They lied It really stood for The Shadow Club. They were pulling pranks while Jared took the blame. It was the perfect plan until Jared found out who was doing it. They eventually got in trouble and were expelled, and life went on. Alec was ok and everyone was fine for now.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
If you thought you liked the Shadow Club, Shusterman's thrilling sequel, The Shadow Club Rising, is a must read. When Jared Mercer is caught up in a suffocating reputation as prankster, he resorts to anything to prove his innocence. When he is even accused by his own parents, he doesnt give up hope, he still tries to crack the case. This book had me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages a mile a minute. I dont think I have read a book as fast and fell in love with it. Believe me, this book is awesome. Two thumbs up!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I never thought that i would like mystery books because i thought that they are confusing... but then i read this book the plot is simple and it hooked me on. i read for about 2 to 4 hours strait and finishied this book in no time. This is an excellent adventure and mystery book!!!!