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Time Bomb
Contributor(s): Charbonneau, Joelle
ISBN: 0544416708     ISBN-13: 9780544416703
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: March 2018
Annotation: "Six students are trapped in their school after a bomb goes off, and must fight to survive while discovering who among them is the bomber"--
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Bombings; Fiction.
High schools; Fiction.
Schools; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2017006799
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.75" H x 6.00" W x 1.50" (1.00 lbs) 340 pages
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q72193
Reading Level: 5.4   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 17.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2018 January #2)

In a terrifying, timely thriller, six teens work together to survive after becoming trapped in their school following a bombing. Each member of the diverse group—congressman's daughter Diana, biracial and newly out Tad, star athlete Frankie, socially awkward musician Cas, rebellious Z, and Rashid, who wants to be seen as more than just Muslim—has a personal reason for being at school before the semester starts, and it soon becomes clear that one of them is the bomber. Fragile alliances are formed and secrets are revealed, but distrust and paranoia undermine the group's efforts to escape an increasingly deadly situation. In her attempt to maintain ambiguity and mystery regarding the bomber's identity, Charbonneau (Need) withholds a great deal from readers at first, keeping characters' motivations a mystery even when it doesn't make sense to avoid them. However, the high-pressure environment, increasing tension, and enormous stakes make this a gripping story that touches on numerous stressors facing contemporary teens, including suicidal ideation, parental pressure to succeed, and religious profiling. It's a powerful page-turner that doesn't let up until its explosive finale. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson and Lerner. (Mar.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 January)

Gr 8 Up—Six students struggle to survive after a series of bombs explode and trap them in the war zone—like ruins of their high school. Featuring multiple perspectives, this riveting thriller explores the power of prejudice and assumptions through the lens of school violence. It's revealed early on that one of the survivors is also involved in the bombing. From the school's perfect Queen Bee to the tough-as-nails delinquent, each of the students has a different motive for being at school that day. Charbonneau builds suspense by subtly planting red herrings about the accomplice's identity while also raising questions about others. The frequent shifts in perspective allow readers to see beyond each character's stock exterior. While each one has a distinct voice, some narratives are more compelling than others. The most complex and developed character is Rashid, a Muslim teenager who feels he must compromise his family's ideals in order to make his school life easier. Other students are immediately suspicious of Rashid after the initial bomb. While the book confronts this racism head-on and another character is ultimately responsible, the narrative feels stereotypical and exploitative in its casting of Rashid as a would-be terrorist based on his race and religion alone. VERDICT A tense, fast-paced thriller that explores prejudice and stereotypes, sometimes insensitively, in the all-too-real setting of extreme violence at a high school.—Sophie Kenney, Vernon Area Public Library District, IL

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.