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Parents' Guide to

The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne

By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Teens try to prove tough teacher is a drug dealer.

The Crimes and Punishments of Miss Payne Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+
I actually really enjoyed it and I read it when I was about 16 maybe. I thought it was a beautifully written book filled with sad realities and harsh lessons at times. I still remember many quotes from that book that had a big effect on me when the traumatic end event happened (I'll keep it secret in case anyone read it still) It was a beautifully written work.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

It's always exciting to see a first-timer with major talent appear on the scene, and author Barry Jonsberg is all that and more. This is a passionate, complex, humorous, and moving story with some satisfying plot twists and a truth that is only gradually revealed. Told in the first person by Calma, it has a witty, sardonic voice and gritty realism.

It also has plenty of rookie mistakes. The narrative goes off in too many directions, and the pointlessly ambiguous ending will frustrate many readers. Jonsberg also seems determined, as many first-time authors are, to throw in every good idea he's ever had: funny horoscope entries, imagined movie dialogue, flashbacks, last-minute revelations, comedy, tragedy, letters, essays, etc. But the core of the story, Calma's and Kiffo's friendship, feels authentic and touching, and it remains in the reader's thoughts after the last page is turned.

Book Details

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