Students in my school’s Freshman Academy are currently reading Joyce McDonald’s Shades of Simon Gray. Since I will be working closely with some freshman English classes during the next few weeks, I read this book as well. I finished it earlier today, and let me just say that this book is strange. (Some of you may not know, but this is pretty high praise coming from me.) It’s kind of a combination of thriller, science fiction, and morality tale. I liked it, and I hope the students I am working with like it too.
Simon Gray seems to be the teenager every parent wishes they had–smart, hard-working, well-behaved. But appearances can be deceiving. After an accident that leaves Simon in a coma, things begin to unravel. He begins to have conversations with a long-dead man who was unjustly murdered. And the secrets Simon was trying to keep begin to reveal themselves. What will happen? Will justice be served?
I’m not going to tell you what secrets Simon was hiding or anything else that happened in this book. (Of course, you’re going to have to read the book to figure out this stuff.) Just know that this book was definitely creepy (and really cool), and it left me thinking about things after I’d finished. What would I have done in any of the characters’ places? I hope that Shades of Simon Gray moves my students to think about the shades of gray in their own lives as well.