Plague Year

ISBN: 0688161251
ISBN 13: 9780688161255
By: Stephanie S. Tolan

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About this book

Bran's been hiding a horrible secret. Now that it's out, the town of Ridgewood wants him out. With Molly and David on his side, Bran might have had a chance against the teenage bullies. But fear spreads like a contagion -- until the whole town is infected with prejiduce, ignorance, and hysteria. Yet even as events spin out of control, friendship grows, and Molly, David and Bran are left alone to stand against the Plague.

Reader's Thoughts


Plague Year by Stephanie S Tolan was first published in 1999, and is aimed at the Young Adult audience.Set in an American HIgh School, this story is straight to the point, at times shocking, often uncomfortable and has a strong message to tell. Bran Slocum joins Ridgewood High in the middle of the school year, it's difficult to fit in when friendships have already been established, and even more difficult when you look a little 'different'. Bran immediately becomes the target of the school bullies - the 'jocks', the popular guys who are good at sport and who the girls adore. Except for Molly - she tries to take Molly under her wing, to protect him from the jokes and the jibes and the hurtful comments about his appearance. Then there is David. David has tried to be part of the gang for years, tends to stay out of things and is good friends with Molly.When the people of Ridgewood find out that Bran not only looks a little different, but has a shocking secret, his world erupts. The townspeople - both adults and kids show their true colours and Bran finds his life in danger. This story really brings home how prejudiced and ignorant seemingly 'good citizens' can be. People are carried along in the mass hysteria and treat Bran and his family terribly.Stephanie S Tolan writes with flair and the story flows swiftly to it's terrifying ending. Adults and children alike should read this story, it may make people stop and think about the consequences of behaviour based on ignorance and hate.


While I liked the main characters, David, Molly, and Bran (plus their support systems), the rest of the people in the book made me too mad to actually finish it. I got about halfway through and had to just skip to the end to see what happened. Cruel injustice books like this are sometimes just too much for me to want to deal with.


I think it's really good and plus I just found out who the killer is? And I was so shocked because you would never think that that person was capable of doing such a thing.


Somewhat predictable, but a fine young adult novel. Great for reluctant readers.

Maria Hooley

Granted, most ya issue novels deal with the idea of fitting in, but Plague Year takes that to a whole new level, one that will break your heart. I challenge anyone to read this book and not keep thinking about it long after he or she has turned the page. It's that good. If you like Thirteen Reasons Why, you will love this book.


I liked it enough to keep it...

Taylor Troncin

Everything was mostly working for David. He joined the running team at his school, had a girlfriend, and a female best friend. Everything changed when a new odd looking boy joined the school (Bram). There is something different about this boy other than just his appearance. This would be a great literary circle book. I think students would become intrigued with the story. I would have assignments (perhaps journal entries) on what they think would happen next. I loved this book. I was really upset with the ending, but overall the book was pretty interesting. It dealt with bullying to the extremes and I think that it showed how hateful some “good natured” people can be.


This book was just okay. It didn't seem very realistic but maybe I'm overly optimistic about the goodness (or not) of people.

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