Monday, June 17, 2013

Review: Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills

  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 6/18/2013
  • Source: ARC provided by the publisher for review
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be--and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought. Claudia Mills brings another compelling school story to life with Zero Tolerance.

My Thoughts

The synopsis of this story intrigued me. I understand the seriousness of the issue at hand, but it seemed a little excessive to me to think that this student who has never done anything wrong, and even turns in the knife when she realized the mistake, should face expulsion. Not to worry though, the way that this book is done it makes sense. With a zero tolerance policy in the school, it doesn't matter if it was an accident or even that she turned it in. The fact that she brought it to school was enough. I found myself angry at the situation and hoping that everything got resolved for her.

Sierra is a good kid. She doesn't get into trouble, she gets good grades, and she helps the school with new initiatives to try to make the school and education better. She is the last person who would ever break a rule. In fact, she turns the knife in as soon as she notices she has her mom's lunch and not her own thinking it's the right thing to do. When they call her parents and start treating her coldly, she is confused. She doesn't understand how she can be in trouble for trying to do the right thing. Media gets involved and it becomes big news. She actually takes it all pretty well. At first I thought that maybe for a 12 year old she seemed a bit mature, but as I learned about her it made sense. She has a good head on her shoulders. As much as her situation sucked, I loved the things that she learned through the experience. She grew as a person and learned to not be so narrow minded about everything.

Sierra's father is a lawyer and he has connections so he is able to make the situation get media coverage. Sierra talks to reporters, ends up on the news, and has a bunch of support behind her. Not that any of that makes a difference to the principal at all. He needs to stick to the policies in place and there are no exceptions. While all of this goes on and Sierra is stuck in suspension, she actually becomes friends with the last person she thought she ever would. Luke is a major trouble maker, but she discovers that he's not all bad, and he is even willing to help her. I can't say that I agree with some of the ways her dad went about getting things resolved, but I do think that Sierra learned a great lesson out of it all.

This was a great book. I was invested in Sierra's story and needed to know the outcome. There were some great secondary characters too, and I think they really helped to round out the story and make Sierra the person she was. I wish we had been able to get to know her personally a little better, but the pending expulsion really kept us from getting to know too much about her outside of that situation. I felt like we got to know Luke and her family more than we got to know her. I liked the little glimpse that we did get though. Overall I really did like this though. I think that it had some good messages in it. Some subtle, some more obvious, but all really great!



* An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.

40 comments:

  1. This one looks seriously cute. I love the idea and I cant wait to meet Sierra. But I really hate it when books infuriate people like that.

    Wonderful review, Amy! <33

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    1. I thought this book was great!! I am really loving so many MG books lately.

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  2. This has such an interesting premise. I love the sound of the main character. She seems like such a level-headed and smart young girl.
    These middle grade novels seem to send out really positive messages. I need to check out some when I have some time.
    Lovely review, Amy!

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    1. The main character really had a good head on her! She was so young, but very mature and responsible. That's what made the book what it was. Thinking that the perfect student could be in so much trouble over a mistake.

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  3. Oh wow, what a cute cover! But the book sound pretty serious and I love your review, hun! I am definitely going to check this one out! Thanks for putting it on my radar!

    Evie @Bookish

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    1. It is a serious book, but I really liked how it was done! Even with being serious it was still fun at times too.

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  4. I liked the way that everything was handled in this one too. I could totally understand the schools stance and the fathers. It got pretty intense hey? So happy that you enjoyed Zero Tolerance too, Amy!

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    1. It definitely did get intense!! I liked that her father was so determined, but OMG he was starting to play really dirty!! This was a fabulous book though!!

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  5. This sounds like a great story being with all the chaos and rules in school. I feel that sometimes schools take it too far. I read an article where a little boy on a bus got taken away by the sheriff just because he had a toy plastic gun the size of a quarter. Really people? It's called common sense. I understand the need for rules and such but when you scare the life out of a 6 year old boy, that's just wrong. Anyways, nice review.

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    1. Yes I totally agree!! I mean, I know that rules are in place for a reason, but sometimes it seems like they punish the wrong people!

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  6. Oh wow, really? She got in trouble for accidentally bringing a knife to school? That's ridiculous! Ugh. Stupid laws punishing people who aren't doing anything wrong. Grrr. Glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. Yeah, and she even turned it in herself!! It's not like she was trying to hide that she accidentally brought it. So she does the responsible thing and faces expulsion, crazy right?!

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  7. huh I can see how frustrating it can be to get expelled for a stupid mistake, but as long as the book made it work out, then that's great! This sounds like something my cousin will enjoy! Great review Amy!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  8. Based on the cover, I would have thought this was a children's book. This is such a relevant topic right now, and I'm glad the author handled it well. Great review, Babe !

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  9. This one sounds like a really great MG book, but I feel like I would also think that the whole issue was unrealistic because it was an honest mistake. I guess that "zero tolerance" rule the school has set in place is kind of blurry, But I'm really glad that Sierra grew as a person throughout the story, instead of it just being about her overriding the school's decision to expel her.

    Fantastic review, I'm glad you enjoyed this one so much! :)

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  10. I can understand being really strict about a no weapons policy but if she immediately turned it in then that is kind of ridiculous. Sounds like an interesting situation and I am curious how they resolve it.

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  11. I can imagine that I would get so angry reading this. It was an accident, why should she get punished?! I mean I vet the rule, but still... come on. This sounds like one I really would enjoy!

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  12. Oh I like the sound of this one. Zero tolerance is kinda old school these days but I still like the idea of her finding out that "troublemakers" aren't always what you think. Good review.

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  13. This book sounds interesting! I understand the zero tolerance thing, but that poor girl's situation sucks! She did the right thing. I like books that make you think, and this sounds like a good book for jr. high kids, and learning that everything in life is not always black, and white. Great Review Hon!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

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  14. Thanks, Amy, for having a blog that brings new books to the attention of so many readers with your thoughtful reviews. You've given me, as the author, some good things to think about in your comment that you felt more detached from Sierra than you did from some of the other characters. I wonder if that's because as I inhabited Sierra's consciousness, writing her story, I felt that she herself was almost numb with the unbelievability of her situation and was watching her life unfold almost like one of the stories on the nightly news. I wonder if readers would have felt closer to Sierra if I had narrated her story in first person. Anyway, thanks for the extremely thoughtful analysis of the book.

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  15. Aaaw this is such a sweet post! Haha you're daughter is too cute. HAPPY BIRTHDAY EILEEEEEN . It was so much fun participating in the scavenger hunt. :') Music classes Sydney

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  16. شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة
    تعد المدينة المنورة من ارقى مناطق المملكة و تتميز بالطابع الدافئ والتواصل بين سكانها واجتماعهم في المناسبات المختلفه من هنا جاءت اهمية شركة تنظيف بالمدينة المنورة لتقديم خدمات التنظيف للبيوت والمنازل والفلل والقصور والشقق والمدارس والمصالح العامة بالاضافة الى تنظيف الخزانات باستخدام افضل المنظفات فالاول تعد افضل شركة نظافة بالمدينة المنورة
    ولاننا ندرك بان الفلل تحتاج الى عمالة مدربة على تنظيف الاماكن الواسعة ولديها القدرة على تنظيف المسابح وواجهات الزجاج او الحجر للفلل فالاول لمهارة عمالها تعد افضل شركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورة تتميز بسرعة اداء عمالها في تقديم خدمة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورة نتميز باننا افضل شركات تنظيف الفلل بالمدينة المنورة
    وكثيرا ما تحتوى الفلل على عدة خزانات فلابد من الاستعانة بافضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورة فهى تستخدم افضل منظفات الخزانات والمطهرات نتميز باننا احسن شركة غسيل خزانات بالمدينة المنورة نغسل كافة انواع خزانات مياه الشرب بالمدينة
    ولاننا افضل شركة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة نقدم افضل خدمة تنظيف شقق بالمدينة المنورة بالاعتماد على افضل منظفات الكنب والستائر بالبخار والسجاد والموكيت و اسعار شركة الاول رخيصة بالمقارنة مع منافسيها من الشركات الاخرى الا اننا نعد من افضل الشركات وارخصها

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  17. شركة تنظيف مساجد بالرياض

    شركة تخزين عفش بالرياض

    تقوم كذلك بتقديم كافة التسهيلات وسيارات النقل لتحصل على افضل خدمة شراء اثاث مستعمل بالرياض
    علما بان الشركة تستخدم افضل المنظفات والمطهرات والمعقمات التى تحقق اعلى نتائج التنظيف المطلوبة فى تنظيف منازل بالرياض
    وتنظيف الفلل والشقق وكافة المؤسسات الاخرى
    لتصبح شركة الاخلاص افضل شركة غسيل خزانات بالرياض بجانب خدمات التعقيم والتطهير المميزه التى تتم باستخدام افضل المواد المنظفه والمحاليل المطهره والتى تحقق اعلى نتائج خاصة بتنظيف خزانات المياه بالرياض

    وتقوم ايضا بتنظيف كنب بالرياض فهى افضل شركة تنظيف كنب بالرياض وبالمملكة فابتصالك بنا تحصل على افضل شركة تنظيف
    مع العلم ان شركة نقل عفش بالرياض تقدم خدمات نقل الاثاث الدولى خارج الممكلة بكل سهولة بالاعتماد على احدث سيارات الشحن الدولى والتى تتميز بالسرعه والامان عند نقل الاثاث

    فشركة الاخلاص شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض تسعى بكل جهدها للوصل لحل لهذه التسريبات والتقليل من فاتورة المياه الخاصه بك بعد حل مشكلة التسربات بالاعتماد على اقوى وافضل عماله متخصصه وخبرة فى استخدام هذه الاجهزة باحتراف
    شركة رش مبيدات بالدمام

    شركة مكافحة النمل الابيض بالرياض

    شركة مكافحة صراصير بالرياض
    ونقدم افضل خدمة جلى بلاط بالرياض فشركة البيت الافضل تشتهر بانها افضل شركة جلى بلاط بالرياض
    تعمل على جلى جميع انواع البلاط والرخام

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  18. تعد الاخلاص افضل شركة تنظيف ومكافحة حشرات بالطائف فهى تقدم افضل الخدمات وباقل الاسعار لانها تتميز بانها افضل :
    شركة رش مبيدات بالطائف
    شركة مكافحة حشرات بالطائف
    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالطائف
    شركة تنظيف بالطائف

    ReplyDelete

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