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Diary of a Witness by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Diary of a Witness

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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Quick read about bullying. ( )
  WarriorLibrary | May 17, 2011 |
A good book that takes an in-depth, close to home look at bullying and the consequences told from the perspective of his best friend. Suspense builds partway through the book to the shocking ending. ( )
  SLeeD | Mar 31, 2011 |
Once again, Catherine Ryan Hyde has illustrated the emotional depth a YA novel can showcase. Although the narrator, Ernie, does all the right things at all the right times, he is somehow saved from operating as a two dimensional figure. On the contrary, he is so sympathetic and broken and normal that even his most heroic actions don't render him a hero in the readers' eyes. While "The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance" is my favorite Hyde novel, "Diary of a Witness" is a very close second. ( )
  Dewdette | Jul 4, 2010 |
Wonderfully written and poignant book about a high schooler, Ernie, that deals with his weight, being ostracized by other peers, and a mother who comforts him and finds happiness with fatty foods. Ernie's best friend, Will, who helps his at school and with bullying, has his own issues in the "Manson" family and then has to face a family tragedy. This novel has a wonderful balance between the positive and the tragic and the issues that some teens may have to face. ( )
  robynr | Jun 15, 2010 |
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

Ernie lives with his mother. She loves him dearly and provides well for him, but practically every day is a living nightmare for Ernie. He's a loner, interested in videos games and not sports, and at about 100 pounds overweight, he's the object of ridicule from his fellow classmates.

For Ernie school days are torture. Teachers seem to turn a blind eye when he is made the butt of every joke. There are five jocks that have made Ernie their special target. In the hallway between classes and in the locker room before and after gym, they tease and taunt and play endless pranks. When opportunities arise to report the pranksters, Ernie always senses that if he does complain his tormentors will only find ways to make his life more miserable.

Ernie does have one friend. His name is Will, and he constantly promises that he has Ernie's back. Will is skinny and suffers from chronic acne, which makes him another frequent target for the jocks. Since his mother left, he and his younger brother have lived with a father more interested in finding his next beer than in raising his two sons. Together, Ernie and Will help each other through the agonizing world of their small town high school.

After a fishing trip that ends in tragedy, the teasing and taunting of the two teens increases. The attacks are more deliberate and result in potentially dangerous injuries. Ernie can't bring himself to discuss the problem with his mother, but he finds some comfort and release in writing about the incidents in a journal given to him by his uncle. Will, now living with his mother since the fateful fishing trip, reacts in more negative ways that have Ernie worrying about Will's sanity and safety.

DIARY OF A WITNESS addresses the growing problem of bullying in today's society. Catherine Ryan Hyde takes readers into the lives of two teens facing bullying on a daily basis. As with many victims of this increasing problem, they feel helpless to change their situations, which make them even more vulnerable to the vicious verbal and physical attacks. This emotionally charged novel will hopefully make readers take notice of and become more active in the prevention of the bullying behavior they witness in their communities. ( )
  GeniusJen | Jan 12, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375856846, Hardcover)

One day, something’s going to snap. . . .

Ernie doesn't have a lot of friends at school. Just Will. They have stuff in common—like fishing. But more important, they have common enemies: the school jocks, who seem to find bullying just another sport.

For the most part, Ernie and Will take life at high school in stride. Until Will has one very bad day. Now nothing is remotely funny. Ernie finds himself a witness—to loss, to humiliation, and to Will’s anger—an anger that’s building each and every moment.

Ernie doesn’t want to believe his best friend is changing, but he can’t deny the truth. Soon he has a choice: join or die. Or can he find another way?

Praise for The Day I Killed James:
“Teens who have experienced crushing rejection or who have laughed at the ardent feelings of a classmate will devour this original, gripping story.”—Kirkus Reviews

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:44 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Ernie, an overweight high school student and long-time target of bullies, relies on his best friend Will to watch his back until Will, overwhelmed by problems at home and guilt over his brother's death, seeks a final solution.

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