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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Book Review: Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Buy Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Diary of a Witness
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
ISBN-10: 0-375-85684-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-375-85684-6
Publication Date: August, 2009
List Price: $16.99

Review: Do you like books about teen drama? Books where teens go a little over–board? Then Diary of a Witness is the book for you. In this book, teens Ernie and his best and only friend Will Manson are tortured by the school bullies, until one day it just gets out of control. Catherine Ryan Hyde, author some other young adults books such as Becoming Chloe, Miraculous Reappearance, and The Day I Killed James, brings teen life to the extreme in this wonderful new book. This is a standalone book.

This book is Ernie’s diary (or journal) and in it he has kept the most important parts of his teen life in it. Will Manson, his one and only best friend, and he have to deal with the worst bullies in the world…or so they think. One day Ernie and Will decide to make sure that Ernie, who suffers from obesity, won’t be tortured in the locker rooms by these bullies. Here’s Will’s idea; tell the Coach that Ernie is gay. Coach doesn’t buy it one bit. He makes a deal with Ernie. “Look, I’ll make you a deal. See that shower, that shower is your shower for the rest of the year. And this is your dressing room. Here’s what you have to do for me though. See that scale? When you get out of the shower, I want you to stand in front of the mirror and look at yourself. And then get on the scale.” This prompts him going to go on a diet, and his mom, who cooks the fattiest foods imaginable, doesn’t know. Awhile later, Will and he go on a fishing trip, and Will’s little brother, Sam, drowns. Will blames himself for everything causing Will to go through a depression where he tries to commit suicide. When Ernie saves Will, Will won’t speak unless spoken to; and later on his way home from school, Ernie gets caught by the bullies, and gets a rusty old fishhook stuck in the back of his head and then pulls it out himself! Afterward, Ernie and his Uncle Max take Will up to his cabin in Lemoore, California, to try and find a way to cheer him up. But can they?

The book is really good and time periods in the book are spaced nicely. Eddie is really an awesome character, and Mrs. Hyde is really an excellent author. If I could, I would give this 15 stars out of 5 stars. She has published many books for adults as well. So far I think this is the best book she’s written yet. She did a great job with Diary of a Witness really it was the best book I have read so far this year. I would recommend it mainly for middle school kids. And, I must say, that some adults might also like to read this. It is a fast paced book, but it does have some slow spots where not much goes on for a few pages. This book is very smooth when it comes to a reader and I would recommend this book for teens from 11-17 to read because of some language such as some uncommon swearing. Other than that I guarantee that almost anyone would like this book no matter what age or gender.

Review written by Willow (6th grade student).

We would like to thank Random House for providing a copy of Diary of a Witness for this review.

Have you read Diary of a Witness? How would you rate it?

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