Thursday, October 31, 2002

Melvin Burgess. Smack. Henry Holt, 1996.

Recommended Age Range: 13 and up

Plot Summary: When 14 year old Tar runs away from home to escape his abusive parents, he finds a counter-culture community to support him. With his new found friends and his girlfriend, he feels as if his life is on track. Then they start taking heroin and their lives change dramatically.

Evaluation of Reader Appeal: Smack is a gritty, realistic drama told from the perspective of a young drug user and his friends and family. Because of the young protagonists and realistic voices, it is appealing to most teens.

Evaluation of Literary Merit: I really got into this book. It is well written and the multiple points of view give you a fuller picture of the events that are transpiring. I thought that the subject matter of drug use and abuse was dealt with in a realistic manner without being preachy. It won the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award for Fiction

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