Book Review: Night School by Caroline B. Cooney

I recently came across a box full of books that I haven’t laid eyes on since school.  And so I thought it might be fun to run re-read and review a few of them…

When a vague sign-up sheet for Night School is posted on a Californian high school bulletin board, four very different people add their names to the list.  But what have they signed up for?  All they know is that it’s for Night School.  No subject is given.  No instructor’s name is mentioned.  It’s just Night School.

The first to sign up is Andrew, a popular, successful boy who prides himself on always doing everything right.  He is consumed with his future, what he will be and what he will be famous for.

The second is Mariah, a daydreamer who spends her time daydreaming about Andrew.  When she’s not daydreaming she spends her time worrying about her younger brother, Bevin, who’s been having a rough time at school with bullies.

The third to add her name is Autumn.  She is a member of the most popular but often nasty group of girls at the high school but she is attempting to break free.  However, she likes to hedge her bets, and just in case this bid for freedom and independence fails, she does her best to disguise her name on the sheet.

The last member of Night Class is Ned.  He has no friends and like Bevin suffers greatly at the hands of bullies.  So he figures, he has nothing to lose and adds his name to the list.  After all, with such a small group, and the others being popular kids, perhaps he stands a chance of making friends…

But just what exactly have they got themselves in for?

This is a Point Horror so of course there is a moderate horror element to the story; that of fear.  But it also covers the topics of bullying, choices and responsibility very well.  Furthermore, it explains that it is never too late to change; who we are, how we behave and most importantly, how we treat others.  All it takes to do the right thing is a little strength.

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