Fat, clumsy Simon Glass is a textbook geek, and all three of Rob's posse hates him, each for his own reasons. But Rob is driven by the need to prove his power, and so he decrees that they will take on the seemingly impossible task of making Simon popular. They take him shopping for a better look, get his hair styled, teach him how to behave. Rob extracts painful sacrifices and uneasy moral compromises to achieve the goal, but each of his followers has a hidden empty place and a related secret that holds them in bondage to his manipulations. Soon Simon is on his reluctant way to becoming Class Favorite, but then he begins to show a dark, cruel side, and an ability to do what the others can't--defy Rob. The complex interlocking motivations of these five move the story inexorably to a startling bloody catharsis.
In an enthralling first novel that evokes William Golding's Lord of the Flies and Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, Gail Giles's Shattering Glass employs a brilliantly original structure to layer present and future in an exploration of the consequences of following a charismatic but amoral leader. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell