Vandal by Michael Simmons

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age level:  14 and up

# of pages:  173

RAC Book: Yes

From the author of Finding Lubchenko comes this story about Will and his brother, Jason.  Jason has gotten into trouble repeatedly for most of his life.  Will, his parents, and his sister have tried a variety of ways to help Jason get his life straight, including family therapy, but nothing seems to work.  Will’s favorite hobby is to play guitar in a KISS cover band.  As the band grows in popularity, Will decides to offer his brother a job carrying equipment.  His parents have concerns and make Jason stay out of trouble for an entire month before they agree to it.  Unfortunately, Jason’s first night on the job yields a fight during a KISS Forever performance and much, much worse.  Jason appears truly sorry for everything he does, but continues to act without regard for people or property.  Will must evaluate his expectations for a future relationship with Will.  He must also decide if Will is maliciously hurting his family or if he really is unable to control his actions, each option is disturbing in its own way. 

 This novel does not have the clever persona telling the story that Finding Lubchenko does, which is a little disappointing.  Will seems to truly understand what it means to forgive even when it is difficult, but many readers will wonder how he can always support his brother as he continues to make poor decisions.  The fact that Jason seems unable to control himself is disturbing since everyone continues to cover for him and support him throughout the story.  It is difficult to see how he will ever be a responsible person with this safety net around him.  This book would be good for leading discussions on forgiveness and taking responsibility for ones own actions. 

2 Responses to “Vandal by Michael Simmons”

  1. 1 Anonymous May 14, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    where does it take place

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