Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cold Calls by Charles Benoit

I know your secret, and I am going to tell everyone unless you do exactly what I say. How far would you be willing to go to keep your secret - the one you want no one to ever find out?

Eric receives a call from a strange voice telling him that his secret will be revealed unless he follows the instructions. What does the voice want? Eric must bully Connor, a kid he doesn't even know. All the directions are specific including the day that Eric is supposed to dump mac & cheese on Connor's head in the school cafeteria during lunch. Eric is not a bully, but how can he risk the humiliation of having his secret revealed to the world.

Shelly gets the call, too. She must bully a girl in her school the same way. She goes to a different school than Eric and doesn't even know him until they meet in a anti-bullying class they are required to take after they follow the voice's instructions. Their loud discussion is overheard by a third person who also received the call.

Together, they decide (although with some reluctance) to find out the identity of the caller and stop him/her before it is too late. Suspense builds as the mac & cheese deadline approaches. We, as readers, are asking the same questions as the three: who is the caller; why are they being targeted; why were their victims chosen? We also want to know what the secrets are? How bad can they be?

It's a suspenseful, quick read.

For more info, check out the Indianapolis Public Library catalog and the author's site.

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