A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in Holly Jackson's A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, 17-year-old Pippa (Pip) Fitz-Amobi has decided on a most unexpected senior capstone project: investigating a murder. Five years ago, a pretty and popular student at her Connecticut high school had gone missing. When her boyfriend committed suicide, everyone in town (police included) decided he must have murdered her and then killed himself. But is that really what happened? Pip puts together a list of potential suspects -- a teacher, a police officer, an older boy, a drug dealer, and a high school classmate -- and soon uncovers a whole host of long hidden secrets. Teens attend parties where they get drunk and smoke dope and one character deals drugs. It's revealed that a girl was drugged and raped. Characters use some profanity ("f--k," "s--t," "bitch." Any reader who's a Veronica Mars fan will be equally as captivated by Pip and her sleuthing skills.
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What's the story?
In A GOOD GIRL'S GIDE TO MURDER, Pip Fitz-Amobi has decided that murder will be the subject of her senior capstone project. She doesn't believe that Sal Singh murdered his high school girlfriend, Andie Bell, and she intends to prove it. After signing a school contract that says she will have no contact with any of the families involved, the first thing she does is ring the doorbell at the Singh house and talk with Sal's younger brother, Ravi. But after telling Pip in no uncertain terms that he wants nothing to do with her investigation, Ravi soon joins her in trying to clear Sal's name. But it's a tough job. Andie's body has never been found and all the evidence seems to point to Sal. Friends who had provided alibis for Sal for the time of Andie's disappearance admitted they had initially lied to the police. Andie's phone was found on Sal's body and traces of her blood under his fingernails. If that wasn't enough to convince everyone he'd killed her, Sal had sent an "I did it" text message to his father before committing suicide. But as Pip begins to dig deeper into Andie and Sal's lives, lie after lie begins to be revealed, and a growing list of suspects emerges: a too-friendly high school teacher, a mysterious older boy with a fake Facebook profile, a girl Andie had bullied, a local drug dealer, a police officer who could have removed evidence from Andie's house. When Pip begins receiving notes threatening her if she doesn't stop digging into Andie's murder, she's certain she's on the track of the real killer.
Is it any good?
This smart page-turner of a thriller brims with unexpected suspects and head-spinning twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Rather than depending solely on the text to tell the story, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder includes revealing journal entries and transcripts of Pip's interviews with police that worked on Andie's case, a reporter who covered it, and Andie and Sal's friends and family -- interviews that sometimes lead to that person being put on the suspect list.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how race and ethnicity might have played a part in the case in A Good Girl's Guide to Murder. Do you think the police, the press, and the town would have been so quick to make Sal the prime suspect if Andie hadn't been White and Sal an Indian American?
Has anyone you know had something shared on social media that hurt or humiliated them? What precautions have you taken so that your personal photos and posts can't be shared without your permission?
Were you surprised to learn that only 1% of people who go missing are never found and only 0.25% of missing person cases have a fatal outcome? Do you think the media has given the false impression that most people who go missing have a tragic outcome?
- Author: Holly Jackson
- Genre: Mystery
- Topics: Brothers and Sisters, Great Girl Role Models, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Delacorte Press
- Publication date: February 4, 2020
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 13 - 18
- Number of pages: 400
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: March 09, 2020
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