Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Littman, Sarah Darer. Backlash.

Littman, Sarah Darer.  Backlash.  Scholastic Press    2015  321p  $17.99  ISBN 978-0-545-65126-4  ms/hs  Realistic fiction  E-BN      

Bullied continuously for being overweight in middle school, Lara suffers from  low self-esteem.  But things start looking up socially for Lara as she enters high school when she makes the varsity cheerleading team and begins making new friends.  Then she meets a gorgeous boy on social media and adds him to her list of friends.  She is smitten by Christian’s good looks and kind words, and he is hinting at asking her to his school dance.  As Lara begins to search online for dresses, Christian turns on her and posts mean, humiliating comments about her on social media, even telling her that the world would be a better place without her.  Lara tries to commit suicide; however, she is discovered in time for her life to be saved.

What follows
are the realistically depicted effects on her family as well as the ripple that extends to the entire community, like a stone thrown in a pond. Sarah Darer Littman has written a fabulous novel reflecting current events that are happening all too frequently for teens today.  The fast-paced plot is well written and describes events realistically and precisely.  The credible reaction of everyone affected by cyber-bullying and attempted suicide is not just socially relevant, but it is also well-written.  Readers won’t want to put this book down and will be astounded by the climax and resolution of the story.

This fabulous depiction of real
-life events presented through fiction sends a powerful message to readers.  It is a must-read for any middle- or high-school student, and even for parents, that will hopefully send a think first message regarding social media.  It is recommended as an Excellent, Book of Note novel.
Summary: When Lara “friends” a boy she doesn’t know on social media, it looks like a romance beginning; however, Christian begins posting nasty things about Lara and she tries to commit suicide, causing consequences that affect not only her family, but the entire community.        

Social media-Fiction, Cyber-bullying-Fiction                --Virginia McGarvey

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