Ages 14 and up
Simon and Schuster, 2001, 0671775839
Jenna has never really thought too much about the fact that her handsome and wonderful boyfriend, Damon, is black. Race has never been an issue between them. In fact she has never felt that race was ever an issue on the campus of her college. Until now that is. When a young black couple is attacked by a white assailant and when the young woman is thrown off the roof of a building, race suddenly becomes a very touchy subject. When this horrific event is followed by the brutal killing of a white student by a black man, things get even worse.
It is as if Jenna and Damon are under a spotlight. Both whites and blacks begin suggesting that it would be better if Jenna and Damon stuck to having partners of their own race. Both of them are appalled by this development but they cannot help feeling the pressure and resenting the fact that everyone seems to be staring at them.
As racial tensions rise and as more attacks take place, Jenna finds solace in her job working as a pathology assistant in the medical examiners office. Perhaps there is something that she can do to help find the person or people who are behind these awful events. When the dead body of a suspect apparently gets up and runs away, Jenna starts thinking outside the box and the results of her research are startling and, so the amazement of all, right on target.
Readers will quickly find themselves getting drawn in by the gripping story in this book. Though the mystery behind the murders and the attacks is an important part of the tale, the exploration of the racial problems on the campus is at the forefront of this story. Young people will see how easy it is for the issue of race to become contentious, emotional, and even violent. They are presented with both sides of the story and are shown how deep-rooted the division between the races can be. They will come to understand that we are not yet living in a color blind society, though many of us wish we were.
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