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edition:eBook
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published: Sep 2015
ISBN:9781459732568
publisher: Dundurn

Numbers

by David A. Poulsen

reviews: 2
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prejudice & racism, values & virtues
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $8.99
edition:eBook
also available: Paperback Hardcover
published: Sep 2015
ISBN:9781459732568
publisher: Dundurn
Description

#1 Calgary Herald Bestseller
Just when Andy starts to feel like he finally belongs, can he stand up to the person he trusted the most?

Andy Crockett doesn’t fit in at his new school — not with the goths, not with the jocks, and certainly not with the brains. Not even, really, with The Six, a group of misfits who hang out with each other mostly because they can’t stand hanging out with anyone else.

But maybe Andy’s luck is changing … and all because he is in Mr. Reztlaff’s grade ten social class — Mr. Retzlaff, the coolest teacher; in fact, the coolest thing about Parkerville Comprehensive. Social is awesome from day one. It’s the class that looks at World War II, Hitler, and the Holocaust. It’s the class Andy wants to ace — and make Mr. Retzlaff proud.

But eventually Andy also begins to understand that acing the class might just have a greater cost than he’s willing to pay. And when it turns out that Mr. Retzlaff might not be so cool after all, Andy is facing the most difficult decision of his life.

About the Author

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and — most of all — a writer. He is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the first three books in the Cullen and Cobb Mystery series. He lives on a ranch in the Alberta foothills near Calgary.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

David A. Poulsen has been a broadcaster, teacher, football coach, and actor who spends eighty to one hundred days each year as a visiting author in schools across Canada. He is the author of more than twenty books, including Old Man, which was short-listed for the Forest of Reading White Pine award, and Numbers which won the Sakura Medal in Japan. He lives in the foothills west of Claresholm, Alberta.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
12 to 15
Grade:
9 to 12
Reading age:
12 to 15
Editorial Reviews

A book about Holocaust denial . . . with a complex plot which will thoroughly engage teenage readers.

— Jewish Book Council

Numbers is a cautionary tale about the importance of questioning authority and demonstrates how easy it is to be swayed by charisma over facts — lessons which need to be re-learned over and over again from one generation to the next.

— AJL Review

Numbers is a deeply moving, nuanced, and fascinating depiction of how confusion and vulnerability can sometimes cause damages that can never be fully repaired.

— Quill & Quire

Poulsen did a good job with characterization, which was vital in order to explain how a Holocaust denier could come to hold such sway over his audience.

— CM magazine

Both as a nostalgic reminder of one's high school years and an inspiration to think thoroughly, independently, and compassionately, Numbers should be very close to number one on your reading list.

— Bookpleasures.com

A worthwhile purchase for libraries looking to fill a niche.

— School Library Journal

In Andy’s accessible, matter-of-fact first-person narrative, Poulsen explores a topic not often covered in teen fiction.

— Booklist

Very highly recommended and certain to be an enduringly popular addition to both school and community library collections.

— Midwest Review of Books

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Numbers

Fifteen-year-old Andy Crockett has never been what anyone would call lucky. Always on the outside, he doesn’t seem to fit in at home, and is barely tolerated by a group of misfits called “The Six” at school. At the beginning of his Grade 10 year, it looks like his luck is about to change when he’s assigned the super-cool Mr. Retzlaff for Social. Social is cool from day one, covering topics such as WWII and the Holocaust, and encouraging the students to think and to question. But when Andy starts to realize that Mr. R’s version of history doesn’t match everyone else’s, he starts to question how far he is willing to go to belong.

David Poulsen is at his strongest when he tackles difficult issues for teens, and this book is no exception. While the plot centres on Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, there are a number of deeper issues at play in the novel as well. Mr. Retzlaff’s teaching is about looking at the world from different points of view, and not blindly accepting the popular view, which are crucial concepts for today’s students to understand. Also key to the story is Andy’s desperate desire to fit in, and that makes him particularly impressionable.

What especially makes the novel interesting is how the principles of individual thinking that Mr. Retzlaff teaches are so effective that – despite his eagerness to please his teacher – Andy comes to the realization that he can and must think for himself, and not blindly accept someone else’s point of view.

A thought-provoking ending will leave readers thinking about this book long beyond reading, offering a powerful message about the irreparable damage that can be caused when we don’t ask the important questions.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Spring 2009. Vol.32 No.2.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Numbers

Andy wants to ace Mr. R.’s class. Covering World War II, Hitler and the Holocaust, he urges students to question what they see and hear. Andy then sees that Mr. R.’s version of history doesn’t match everyone else’s, and the cost of passing Mr. R.’s class may be more than he is willing to pay.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2009.

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