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Benbella Books – May 5, 2009

Normally, I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I’m sure glad I did in this case. Ellen Hopkins did a fantastic job of editing this collection of essays from multiple points of view.  Several authors, including Gail Giles, weigh in on different aspects of the issues involved in CRANK and GLASS.  Ellen, herself, gives more insight into the turmoil her family went through during the years “Kristina” was in the grips of the monster.  But, what is probably the most interesting and beneficial to teen readers is the fact that members of the Hopkins family sound off as well. Ellen’s husband, “Kristina’s” sister, “Kristina,” and “Hunter” all have an essay included.  Their powerful words give the reader a real look at the devastation drugs have on the entire family.

This book will definitely have a home on my middle school library shelf.  If you know anyone that loves CRANK and GLASS, be sure to tell them about FLIRTIN’ WITH THE MONSTER.

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Flirtin’ With the Monster:
Your Favorite Authors on Ellen Hopkins’ Crank and Glass

One family – damaged by tragedy.  A father who drinks too much; an absentee, professionally-driven mother.  Twin girls left in the middle. 

Kaeleigh and Raeanne are identical twins – each with their own deep, dark secret.  One daughter attracts the inappropriate attention of their damaged father.  The other daughter, usually ignored, takes part in riskier and riskier behavior just screaming to be heard.  Both girls suffer in silence, living behind the facade of a perfect, all-American family.

Ellen Hopkins has written another gripping novel in verse that will leave you on the edge of your seat.  If you are at all familiar with her work you know to expect the unexpected.  Prepare for your jaw to drop when you reach the end of this gripping tale.  You absolutely won’t believe your eyes.