What Happened to Cass McBride- Gail Giles

January 17, 2010


This is a mature novel with some language and violence, so I would recommend it for high school. Some of the reviews suggest age 12 and up. If you choose to house it in an elementary library, I would suggest you read it first.

What Happened to Cass McBride is a harrowing and riveting tale of vengeance told with a variety of voices, which seems to be a growing trend. Change of font helps the reader in separating the voices. Cass is popular and knows how to get exactly what she wants. When one of the school dweebs, David, asks her out, she can hardly believe his temerity, but responds with relative gentleness. She then proceeds to write a note for her best friend, but it falls into David’s hands instead. David subsequently hangs himself in the front yard of his home. Kyle, older brother and David’s protector, responds by drugging and kidnapping Cass and burying her alive in a wooden box. He then proceeds to torment her, but is eventually drawn into conversation with her, as Cass is a master manipulator. She comes to understand the extent of what she has done as Kyle draws her into David’s world of stark physical and emotional abuse by his mother.

The other world is found in the confines of the box Cass finds herself in, and you find yourself gasping for breath along with her, you feel the thickness of her tongue as thirst takes over, and you hear the rasp of her voice as she continues to engage in dialgue with Kyle, grimly aware that he holds the key to her survival. But does she survive? You will be kept guessing until the very end.

Fast-paced and gritty, this is a novel that would engross any reader. I know that I found it difficult to put down.

One Response to “What Happened to Cass McBride- Gail Giles”

  1.   Kevin Peterson on June 15, 2011 2:30 pm

    Sounds like a great story and one my daughter might learn a lesson from. The old saying “sticks and stones” is not so easily thrown off like that old chant seems to imply. We must be careful what we say as it can have dire consequences.

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    I Love Kids’ Books
    I have the privilege of being a teacher-librarian in 2 elementary schools. That means I have the best of all worlds; I teach and work with children from Kindergarten through grade 8; my job encompasses the management of the libraries as well as developing the collections. And my homework? Reading and more reading! What more could a life-long bookworm ask for? The point of this blog is mainly for my own use- to make myself some notes about some of the many books I read- to prompt my failing memory, to use as the basis for book-talks or newsletter inserts and to provide information for others that may be interested. These will not be formal or lengthy- but just some of my thoughts.