Bullied at school and ignored at home, Travis has a secret: cutting himself with a razor blade is the only thing that lets him control the pain in his life and find some peace. When he becomes friends with Chyvonne, a new girl at school, he doesn't know how to get close to her without revealing his secret and making himself even more vulnerable. Spending time with Chyvonne spurs Travis to try to discover why his mother can't seem to face his very existence. It's only when he learns about the art form of paper cutting that he realizes there might be other ways to make himself feel adrenalin-fueled and in control.
Although self-harm through cutting is a problem usually associated with teenage girls, many young men are involved in different sorts of self-injury. This story explores a teenager's motivations for cutting and the options for overcoming the need to self-injure.
CRISTY WATSON is passionate about teaching and writing. She loves living near the beach in White Rock, B.C., where she hosts an Open Mic at her local coffee shop. She is the award-winning author of three hi/lo novels -- Benched, Living Rough and On Cue -- published by Orca.
"Wow! Simple language and short chapters make the emotional impact of this book all the more powerful. I liked that it took on a tough issue in a real way, and that while the ending was hopeful, it didn't try to tie up all the loose ends."
"Thoughtful and provoking without insulting high schoolers with babyish language."
"I found this Hi-Lo title to be very engaging and well-paced. The topic of teen cutting is important, and I think it is well-addressed in the main character Travis in terms of possible reasons for cutting, response when a classmate finds out, and some references to getting help . . . There is much that is good in this book, it tackles a touchy subject that needs addressing, and it is an easy read. Recommended for those reasons."
"What first grabbed me about this book was that the subject of cutting fills a gap in teen literature. One often sees books on drugs or different forms of abuse, but self-harm does not seem to be represented very often...Cutter Boy is definitely one of the better high interest reads out there today, and it fills a very important gap in teen literature...Recommended."
"This book doesn't make self-harm sound glamorous or heroic, there is no sugar-coating ... [C]utting does take up a person's mind completely to the point where there really isn't anything else that matters to them. A tough book on a tough topic, 5 beans from me."
"It's written with clarity, honest and definitely a good motivational book for the young adults. It may not be filled with excitement but it depicted the truthful, genuine emotional roller coaster of a troubled teenager."
"I was amazed at how much I was drawn into the story ... I had of course heard of teens who were 'cutters' and had even seen some specials on TV about it but I never truly 'got it' until I read this book ... As a reader you could truly feel the pain that Travis was in that caused him to cut in the first place."
"With well developed characters and a fast moving plot, Cutter Boy tackles the very current teenage problems of bullying, fitting, in, and self mutilation head on in a caring, realistic manner. This book should appeal to middle and high school students. Its low reading level (3.1) makes it accessible to a wide range of students. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Cutter Boy to students."