- Endangered by Lamar Giles
ISBN 978-0-06-229756-3 $17.99 R* Gr. 9-12
Lauren “Panda” Daniels, former bullying victim, is now a high school junior who devotes herself to her website Gray Scales, on which she posts snarkily captioned photographs of wrongdoers from her school. She sees herself as an avenging angel, delivering vigilante justice to the downtrodden by instigating social shaming against school A-listers who prey on weaker classmates. Her latest coup, breathlessly followed by the Portside High chattering class, is a graphic expose of Keachin Myer and her affair with a teacher, after Panda digitally captures them having sex in his car. This episode does not culminate in humiliation, however, but in murder, with Keachin dead and the teacher apprehended as her killer. Panda is outed as the writer of Gray Scales by an online contact, identified only as her Admirer, who has up until now seemed nothing more than a friendly rival for photography skills. The tables are turned, classmates who once cheered anonymous Gray now shun Panda, and her Admirer has attacked her best friend, Ocie, and is now after Panda. Fans of Giles’ Fake I.D. (BCCB 3/14) will be overjoyed to find his debut success was no fluke. This title delivers another skillfully devised plot, supported by a fully fleshed cast whose identities (biracial Panda and Ocie, emotionally abused Keachin, unappreciated “Admirer”) complicate but do not solely define their characters. Secondary players contribute directly to Panda’s ultimate reevaluation of the sublimated motives that drive her vengeance and to her acknowledgment that she has hurt not just her targeted victims but her dearest friend, her parents, and herself.