- Author: Laurie Halse Anderson
- Publisher: Speak
- Published: May 2008
- ISBN-10: 0142411841
- ISBN-13: 9780142411841
- Format: Paperback
- Copyright: 2007
- Subject: JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / General (see also headings under Family)
Our Price: $5.50 - $10.99
High school senior Tyler Miller used to be the kind of guy who faded into the background. But since he got busted for doing graffiti on the school, and spent the summer working outdoors to pay for it, he stand out like you wouldn’t believe. His new physique attracts the attention of queen bee Bethany Milbury who just so happens to he his father’s boss’s daughter, the sister of his biggest enemy – and Tyler’s secret crush. Soon his life is a roller coaster, with fantastic highs, devastating lows, and no seat belt to protect him. 250p. (Ages: Young Adult).
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Who Burned the Football Field?Tyler Miller is your average kid. He was nerdish, dweeby, invisible. Then he commits an act of vandalism. Suddenly he gets all the attention he ever wanted—just not the good kind. This is a different type of teenaged protagonist. Tyler’s known as the bad kid but he doesn’t want to be. He suddenly gets bigger and stronger than the other kids around him, including the boy who used to bully him. But it doesn’t make him happy or respected. He’s got the attention of the hottest girl in the school but he doesn’t know if he’s actually her boyfriend or not. Tyler’s not all that great in school. He plays video games too much and he has a father who is always on his case and ranks as borderline abusive, even if he never lays a finger on the wife or kids. As such, this character is imminently approachable. You find yourself nodding along with most of the dialogue and wincing at all-too-familiar scenarios. You wonder why Tyler’s oblivious to the fact that his would-be girlfriend doesn’t really care for him or that it’d be better for him to pay attention to his classes instead of only seeing them as bastions of boredom, despair and sadism. At the same time, most readers will vividly recall when high school presented the same onus to when they were younger. It’s a very credible trip through the hell that is high school (with a sly metaphor thrown in using his video game Tophet) and the additional purgatories of home life and dating. Here is an assured voice dealing with the rite of passage so many Americans had to go through, written so much like the voice of a 17-going-on-18-year-old adolescent that it reads almost like a diary. Teenagers and adults alike will find this book a searing, fresh look at high school written by a very talented author.