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Zero Tolerance
by Claudia Mills

Overview -

Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy.  Read more...


 
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More About Zero Tolerance by Claudia Mills
 
 
 
Overview

Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be--and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought. Claudia Mills brings another compelling school story to life with "Zero Tolerance."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780374333126
  • ISBN-10: 0374333122
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • Publish Date: June 2013
  • Page Count: 231
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-13


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > School & Education
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Law & Crime
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues - General

 
BookPage Reviews

Welcome to the gray area

Sierra Shepherd is a model seventh grader at her middle school. As a member of the Leadership Club and an exclusive choir group, Sierra prides herself on her accomplishments. She makes good grades and follows the rules. The biggest rule is zero tolerance for bringing any kind of weapon to school, and Sierra would never dream of violating that one! So when she realizes that she grabbed her mother’s lunch by mistake one day and it has a paring knife in it, she does the right thing and turns it in immediately. She doesn’t expect to be put on in-school suspension while awaiting a hearing to see if she will be expelled.

The zero tolerance rule turns Sierra’s world upside down, and she begins to rethink what it means to have a one-size-fits-all policy. Meeting other kids she normally wouldn’t in the detention room allows Sierra to broaden her thoughts on “acceptable” behavior. If she thinks rules are a good idea, then shouldn’t she abide by them? Even when there are “extenuating circumstances”? The answers to these questions in Zero Tolerance are satisfying and not necessarily predictable.

Author Claudia Mills has written a compelling story. Schools often face these issues, and it’s interesting to see what such a crisis feels like from a student’s perspective. Readers could fall on either side of the issue and still find something to think about in this well-written book. Though the publisher recommends it for readers ages 8 to 12, a few instances of mature language make the writing most appropriate for the upper end of that age range. Anachronistic mentions of Game Boys and answering machines are a bit confusing, but the importance of this story is timeless.

 
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