FADE TO BLACK, by Alex Flinn
Interest Level: Upper Grades
Alex Crusan is HIV positive and feeling very isolated after his parents have to move to a small town in Florida and everyone knows about his condition. While driving to Dunkin Donuts early on a Monday morning, someone bashes in his windshield with a baseball bat, putting Alex in the hospital. There is an eyewitness, Daria Bickell. She actually witnesses two attacks, one of which is the incident with the baseball bat, and the other is when she sees one of Alex’s classmates, Clinton Cole, throw a rock through a window in Alex’s house on the night before the attack. The problem is, Daria is mentally handicapped and confused about what she sees. While she’s certain that it is Clinton who threw the rock, the only thing she’s sure of about the other attack is that the person with the bat had on a blue Letterman's jacket. Alex sees the attacker and knows it’s not Clinton, but he knows that Clinton despises him and probably did throw the rock through the window, so he’s tempted to let him take the rap for both incidents. You'll have to read it to find out what happens, but this is a powerful book that is definitely worth reading.