Orca Book Publishers

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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 272
Themes: Peer pressure, friendship, romance
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: 01/Apr/2008
Lexile Level: 660
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It's "bead season" at slippery rock high. This year the bead-snatching grad game called "Gotcha" has been banned as an official school activity because the teachers have decided to put an end to a dangerous tradition. After paying an entry fee the players are given a bead and someone's name. The object of the game is snatch the bead of your victim and take their name. The winner ends up with all the beads—and all the money.

After the game is banned it becomes even more appealing. The game goes underground and more grads than ever are participating. Katie is reluctant to join in, but as a member of grad council she feels she has to go along.

The game quickly spins out of control. Katie finds herself losing friends and falling victim to her classmates' obsession with the game. She considers dropping out of the game but then devises a better way of getting even with her classmates. Katie finds herself sliding further and further down the chute that leads to disaster. Can she bring a safe end to this deadly game?

CM Magazine
Resource Links
"An intriguing look into high school social life…Teen readers will thoroughly enjoy reading this novel!"
Happy Tiler Blog
"Rich with the complexities of teen behavior, a great concept full of substance and peppered with intrigue makes for an exciting teen novel...[Hrdlitschka] does an excellent job entertaining while educating the reader on how teen choices can quickly and inadvertently go awry."
Canadian Children's Book News
"Award-winning author Shelley Hrdlitschka spins this idea into a fast-paced and thrilling read for older teens, looking closely at the idea of mob mentality, and how even the smartest of people can get swept away with the crowd."
"Shelley Hrdlitschka writes an interesting book that looks at what adrenaline and competitiveness can do to humans, how it can change them. The book has many plot twists that keep the reader engaged and wanting more."
"Fast-paced and exciting...worth having in your YA collection."
SWON Libraries
"Covers some very important matters: honesty, integrity, right and wrong, and peer pressure...Will keep readers turning the pages. Recommended."
South Western Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"Wrapped up in the storyline of the Gotcha game is romance, family drama, teenage angst, and mob mentality. The fast paced action of this book keeps the reader hooked."


White Pine nominee  | 2009 | Short-listed
Resource Links "The Year's Best"  | 2008 | Commended
OLA Best Bets  | 2008 | Commended
CCBC Best Books  | 2009 | Commended
Stellar Award nominee  | 2011 | Short-listed

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