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Newbies
by James A. Moore

Category: Fiction / Horror
208 pages; ISBN: 0843954744

Rating: 9/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner

Review

Newbies
James A. Moore
Dorchester, Nov 2004, $5.99, 208 pp.
ISBN: 0843954744

While raising his younger sister Brittany, Chris Corin decides to send her to the exclusive Dunhaven Academy so that she can receive a quality education. Brittany hates the place as she fits in nowhere and with just about no one except a couple of nerds. Within a few days at the place she learns first hand the classifications that define the local youth caste system. Newbies are like her new students; Schoolies are those who have attended the academy for years; finally a Townie is those from the nearby town of Hobbs Point.

When students begin to disappear and a Townie turned Schoolie commits suicide, rumors spread that Brittany is the cause. She decides to clear her name, but needs help and receives this from several Schoolies including two adversaries. As they begin to dig deeper, Brittany’s most dangerous enemy has turned to evil summoning something from the beyond. Only Brittany if she can conquer her fears stands a chance of defeating this antagonist and its monster.

This is an engaging preadolescent to early teen horror tale that emphasizes the struggle to belong when one is an outsider, but does so inside a mystery that ultimately takes a twist into the horror genre. The story line grips young readers as they will appreciate how Brittany stands up for herself and her friends against nasty fellow students (think the snob beauties at the prom in Barrymore’s Never Been Kissed), bullying Townie, and a malevolence that threatens her life and that of her pals. Youthful fans will appreciate this fine tale as long as they are not attending a sleep over academy.

Harriet Klausner

 

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