Right Behind You, by Gail Giles, tells the story of Kip, who when he was nine years old, he set his seven-year-old neighbor on fire because he was jealous of the baseball glove the boy received for his birthday. Three days later the boy died and Kip was committed to a facility for criminally insane juveniles, where he spends the next four years in rehabilitation. At the age of 14, Kip is released and moves with his father and stepmother to a new town, with a new name, to begin a new life. But the past is not so far behind and Kip, now known as Wade, has to reconcile his new perfect life with that of the child monster the media once portrayed him to be.
Right Behind You is a story about rage and redemption, guilt and forgiveness, and finally, acceptance. The heart of this book is the struggle to understand the consequences of choices. Kip was just a child when he murdered his neighbor and it is something he’ll pay for his entire life. But does that exonerate him from his crime? At what age should a person be held responisble for their actions? What role should regret, remorse, and ultimately forgiveness play in situations like these? There is no clear cut answer in this book, and that makes it all the more powerful and thought-provoking.
The emotions and some situations are intense and may be too much for less mature readers, but this compelling story of a troubled young man seeking redemption will be a hit with Giles’ fans and reluctant readers alike.
- Posted by Cori