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Paperback Killing Mr. Griffin Book

ISBN: 0316099007

ISBN13: 9780316099004

Killing Mr. Griffin

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Book Overview

They only meant to scare him. Mr. Griffin is the strictest teacher at Del Norte High, with a penchant for endless projects and humiliating his students. Even straight-A student Susan can't believe how mean he is to the charismatic Mark Kinney. So when her crush asks Susan to help a group of students teach a lesson of their own, she goes along. After all, it's a harmless prank, right? But things don't go according to plan. When one "accident" leads...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Good suspense.

I'm more of a movie watcher than a book reader (though I do read about two dozen novels a year), and this book reminded me of several recent movies along the same vein, about teenagers plotting a prank or smaller crime that spirals out of their control, like Mean Creak, Murder By Numbers, and even parts of Heathers and Sleepers. I've never seen the film version of Killing Mr. Griffin, but now that I've finished the book, I'm anxious to get the DVD. The story is about five high school students who plan to scare their English teacher by kidnapping him, to get even for his strict grading. It all goes wrong when the teacher dies of heart failure while they have him tied up. The plot was very well crafted, especially the details of how their cover-up unravels. It's skillfully written to maintain suspense through the length of the book. The teenage characters are realistic and interesting, taking me back to my own high school days (over 20 years ago), and the difficult characterization of the victim is handled perfectly. You can easily believe he's a good man, undeserving of his fate, and at the same time see how the students could hate him. I welcomed a bit of commentary on the state of our education system from his point of view. If there's any imperfection in this book, to me, it's the relatively abrupt ending and brief denouement. The long-term consequences of the crime are not explored, and I'd like to know what became of the students - how they're finally punished. I guess there's a balance and too much of that could become boring, but still it seems it might leave some readers with the impression the kids got off too lightly. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a suspenseful read.

A Five Star Book!(and well worth it)

It all starts when a former college professor turns to highschool teaching. He is rather strict with his students, which makes many of his students dislike him. He teaches an advanced course, so mostly seniors are in it for college credits. Although, there is one junior named Susan McConnell in Mr. Griffin's class. Mr. Griffin won't tell anyone except his wife, but he thinks Susan is one of the best, if not, the best student in his class. He fears telling her that because he believes her work will get sloppy and she will think she can slide right through the course. Susan has a crush on a handsome senior named David Ruggles. This gets her into trouble. A few of David's friends think it would be funny if they played a joke on Mr. Griffin. So, David, Jeff Garrett, Mark Kinney, and Betsy Cline decide to kidnap him and teach him a lesson. They decide they could use Susan to lure Mr. Griffin into their trap, when Susan starts to lure him, Mr. Griffin tells her how much he appreciates her as a student and her work. Susan feels guilty, but its too late. All they wanted to do is teach him a lesson, they never wanted to kill him. I would recommend this book to people from the ages 13 and up. In my opinion, I do not believe that this book is appropriate for children younger, because even I cried when I read it. This book is especially good for teenagers who think they have problem teachers, and would like an answer to some questions about how teachers really think. This book may not be appropriate, however, for people who cannot stand a little devastation and fear. Lastly, I would recommend this book to people who like mystery, suspense, and horror.

Earns an English teacher's high praise!

Yep, I teach English, and I demand a lot from my students. Should I worry that so many reviewers found the kidnap scene funny? Perhaps, but the true strength of this novel lies in its insight into the confusion and uncertainty felt by Sue and David particularly as they find themselves caught in a plot to scare a disliked teacher which soon spirals out of control. Duncan also does an excellent job of capturing Brian Griffin's dedication to his students and his reasons for being so demanding. Thus, readers are swept along with alternating sympathies, first for lonely Sue, then for the kidnapped Mr. Griffin, then for Mrs. Griffin, who knows Sue is lying about her husband's last hours, finally for David, who suffers a terrible loss himself as the story draws to a close. This is an outstanding book which will grab and hold the attention of any reader who has ever wished to exact revenge on someone in power, be it a teacher, boss, or even parent.

One of the best books ever read! :)

This like on my top 5 list of favorite books ever read! It is really exciting and suspenceful cause you don't know what will happen next or how they'll get away with it. I suggest that you read this book it is very good! :)

Funny and suspenseful

I liked this book a lot. I thought it was suspenseful and funny. I LOVED the chapters that revolved around the kidnapping. The image of masked figures stuffing a bag over an ugly teacher's head and the body's arms moving just made me laugh. If you ever had a teacher you really hated, you might understand. I loved the things that Mark said when he, Betsy, David, and Jeff were in the mountains like "Nobody wanted to miss watching you die", and "You'd better believe it, because it's true." (in response to a question). I was just laughing at the whole idea. I also liked that area. Lois Duncan described it really well, and she created a mood whenever they went there. When Mr. Griffin died, though, it gets riveting. Everything from then on was extremely suspenseful as the kids slowly get caught. It was suspenseful when they were parking Mr. Griffin's car at the airport, when they were seen by police officers and other people when they didn't want to be, and Dave had problems making up stories to tell his grandmother.... Well, this is a great book. You sort of have to be in high school and have the right attitude to like this book. I wonder if Lois Duncan ever had a teacher she hated......
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