Hate MailBook - 2014
Orca Book Pub 2014
From the critics
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Sometimes silence is worse than cruel words.
When Jordie’s cousin, Todd, moves to Montreal, he enrolls at the school that Jordie attends. However many of the students don’t know how to act around Todd, who is autistic and has special needs. Some avoid him. A few, including Jordan’s friend Tyrone, insult Todd behind his back. Unfortunately Todd occasionally overhears the thoughtless remarks.
Fearful of what his friends and acquaintances would think, Jordie hasn’t told anyone at the school yet that Todd is his cousin.
One day a cruel, disgusting hate letter about Todd is sent to his mother, Anna. She and Todd’s father, Phil, are very disturbed by it and they delay telling their son. Soon after that, Phil is admitted to hospital, suffering from a serious depression.
Revolted by the letter and shocked to see his Uncle Phil’s condition, Jordie questions his own behaviour. Soon, he begins to help Todd at school and no longer avoids telling others that they are cousins. He speaks out against prejudice and helps to organize the school rally that his Aunt Anna has planned to raise awareness about autism. When Jordie speaks at the rally, he discovers the power of speaking out and standing up for what is right. Tremendous interest, support and acceptance for Todd are shown by students and teachers attending the rally.
Then, unexpectedly, one of Todd’s unique abilities - of which he has many – save the day in a tense, potentially dangerous situation.
Although it is short in length, Monique Polak’s novel, which addresses a sensitive and important topic, is powerful, insightful, candid and very thought-provoking.
** Recommended for ages 10 to 13 years.
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