In Suzanne Phillips’ Burn, Cameron Grady endures the torture that is high school. He is a freshman and small for his age. This makes him a target for Rich Patterson and his henchmen. Cameron endures vicious bullying, and no one steps in to stop anything. He feels like he can’t talk to anyone about it. He is angry all the time, and the only thing that gives him a moment’s peace is fire.
After a particularly violent attack by Rich and his friend, where pictures of a naked Cameron end up on the Internet, Cameron snaps. He does things that he knows are wrong, but he can’t seem to stop himself. All he wants is a world where Rich is not there, and none of the bad things from the past year ever happened. Will Cameron get his second chance, or will his actions burn his future to cinders? Read Burn to find out.
If you haven’t figured it out already, this is not a happy book. It’s dark, scary, and thought-provoking. As someone who was bullied in middle and high school, I really related to the character of Cameron, and that in itself was difficult for me. I know what it’s like to be scared to go to school or angry at the people who bullied me and others who stood by and let it happen. I didn’t go to the lengths Cameron did, but I could have if I had not had the love and support of my family. Burn is a great book for starting conversations about the consequences of bullying. It happens more than people think, and everyone has to take steps to stop it.