Lured on by his freshman classmate and friend (dubbed Mole by most), Tod Whitney believes he’s taken the easy route through life when he hops onto Mole’s fast track fueled by dishonesty and bullying. But has he? Gradually, Tod’s natural instincts are noticeably at odds with Mole’s. The highs that Mole experiences when the pair inflicts cruelty on others are Tod’s lows—lows that still haunt him three and a half years later when, as a high school grad, he feels compelled to tell his story. It is the most unlikely of friends who softens Tod’s heart and opens his eyes to the issues of his past, but his story does not end there. It proves more difficult than Tod could have imagined to leave his past and Mole behind, and he learns that doing so comes at a heavy price.
Note to Parents and Teachers:
This timely coming-of-age novella has been classroom tested and is age appropriate. Echoing the findings of bully consultant Dr. Malcolm Smith in his Courage to Care program, the story invites discussion of classic bully behaviors and mindsets, the forces of peer pressure and the desire to belong, the role of core family values, the potential support of the bystander, and both hope and encouragement for both victims and perpetrators.
A separate comprehensive discussion guide is available on Amazon.
Janet Morneau, a graduate of Colby College with a degree in literature, has taught reading, writing and literature to secondary students for 29 years. She currently lives in New Hampshire. The Gator Pit is her first book.