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10 thoughts on “Killing Mr. Griffin

  1. says:

    Find all of my reviews at 2.5 StarsThis is one of those times where I really wish Goodreads had half stars, because this was a classic case of a perfectly average book Killing Mr Griffin went on my TBR simply for the fact that when I Googled banned books it was one of the first I hadn t already read and that I might want to that popped up I have to admit, if I were a teacher and saw a kid reading a title like this, I might want to disappear all the copies from the school right quick too The story here is one that is probably familiar to most That Griffin s the sort of guy you d like to kill Well, why don t we then But not really The plan is to get revenge on the literature teacher who has made a group of student lives hell all year They ll kidnap Brian Griffin No relation Drive him out to the middle of nowhere, make him beg for his freedom while promising to stop being such a shit human being and then let him go The only thing no one expected Mr Griffin s heart condition The rest of the story is just how far they are willing to go in order to make sure their little escapade remains under wraps.There s a chance I would have been generous with my rating, if a truly horribly executed bait and switch hadn t been attempted My initial thought was good lord, for something published in 1990 this seems REALLY dated Then I noticed the original publication date was 1978 It s not the worst thing in the world for a book not to stand the test of time, and really the subject matter here was waaaaaay provocative for young adult at the time That being said, allow me a moment to offer a nickel s worth of free advice to the powers that be DO NOT TRY AND EDIT BITS OF A BOOK TO MAKE IT SEEM NEW Not unless you re going to re write the whole shebang You can t make the occasional edit by throwing in references to things like DVDs and cell phones, without eliminating all of the left in blasts from the past like girls getting phone calls on the family LANDLINE or riding around in cars with bench seats But the best had to be wishing they had an iPod while burying the body because A little music makes work go faster Besides, there s always music at funerals We could pick out some good songs for this one Down by the Old Mill Stream would be appropriate, or that Scottish thing, Where, oh, where, has my highland laddie gone Have no fear, though, as an attempt was quickly made to modernize this with reference to that old group, the Grateful Dead Only to have the train fall completely off the rails again with Brush Away the Blue Tail Fly I had to Google that one Burle friggin Ives sang it in 1964 You know who Burle Ives is By the time I was finished reading I was thinking 1978 might have been a re pub date as well because this sucker seemed like it was from the 50s So, there s the reason it was a fail for me and I m rounding down because whoever decided to hack into this did it a huge disservice and should have just left it alone FFS On the bright side, I didn t realize Killing Mr Griffin was written by the same author who wrote one of my fave guilty pleasures I m going on a road trip this weekend with my oldest so he can play some college showcase ball I m hoping he follows the tradition of what he does when his father takes him on these excursions and immediately falls asleep for the entire car ride If he does this will be my first audiobook experience


  2. says:

    This short, older YA book packed quite a wallop of emotion Although I am already familiar with Duncan s talented writing, I was still surprised how sad and tragic this book came across It gives an interesting perspective for that special teacher who pushes kids too hard and doesn t listen to excuses Throw in the fascinating mixture of teens a young, shy girl who is a loner and falls too easily as prey into the grips of others because she s that desperate for attention a cute girl who has learned to manipulate everyone from a young age and has no remorse because of how spoiled she is a jock who is a decent kid who doesn t think much for himself and ultimately a psychopath, serial killer in the making, someone who cares for no ones and easily manipulates others Disturbing stuff.This short book really packs a punch, as I have said, of emotion on so many levels So sad The ending was a heartbreaking wrap up that really affected me I genuinely felt for Mr Griffin Pacing is strong and steady, and there are several gasp, oh no moments with demented twists Duncan s stylized, subtle writing accompanies the bizarre story perfectly It s deeper than it seems once you get past the initial layers.Much better than the book that became the movie, I know what you did last summer Certainly an underrated gem from Lois Duncan Highly recommended if you find it.


  3. says:

    Do you have any friends named Betsey How about Lana or even Sue I m guessing not When your little brother is a complete moron, do you suggest that he hush or do you perhaps say something stronger My money is on stronger The story behind Killing Mr Griffin sounds pretty cool students hate strict teacher, decide to teach strict teacher a lesson oops something goes seriously wrong As a reasonably strict teacher myself, I think it s just common sense to read these kinds of books I need to know what the students are plotting so I can watch my back, so to speak.It all sounds good, right Eh I thought the story was interesting, but the I read, the something was really off First, the names Betsey Really The last time I heard the name Betsey was when I was in high school which was well, let s just say it was in the 20th century Then, the setting details How many of you actually make Jell o out of package Why would you, when it comes in those amazing little plastic cups What about television What do you watch Idol DWTS Not, I assume, The Newlywed Game or Let s Make a Deal.The I read, the I realized that this story was taking place in the 70 s, so I looked at the date in the front of the book and saw that it was originally published in 1978 That would be fine if the story was supposed to be taking place in the 70 s, but the author seems to have gone back in and added modern details like references to Google and cell phones In the meantime, big things like mothers don t seem to go to work during the day, but rather, sit around and play cards, are left like they are normal I could be wrong, but I don t think mothers have done that since Bewitched was running in prime time Yes, it was a TV show before it was a movie My biggest complaint about Killing Mr Griffin, however, is that the dialogue is completely unnatural As a middle school teacher, I have a really good idea of what students sound like and this isn t it Will this do one teenager asks Huh I wish students spoke like that.In my opinion, if the author wanted an updated version of her book, she should have changed much, much It isn t enough to add a couple of pop culture details without eliminating those that are really dated It s like giving Ebenezer Scrooge an iPhone and trying to make us believe the story took place last Christmas OK so I m exaggerating, but you get the idea In the end, the story wasn t terrible but the dialogue was awful.To read about this book, as well as reviews of other young adult titles, check out my blog at readingisntlame.blogspot.com.


  4. says:

    Really cool nice superb awesome twist.


  5. says:

    Man, this book About halfway through, I tried to piece together the message of this book, and all I could decide on was don t follow sociopaths that think it s neat to set cats on fire shit will only escalate from there.Our cast of characters Sue our wallflower heroine, dull as dirt and socially isolated to an unrealistic degree Remember that episode of Buffy, when Clea Duval turned invisible because her classmates ignored her That s Sue without any of Clea s charm.David class president, raised by his mother and invalidish grandmother after his father abandoned the family when he was a child The most interesting, developed character, and he basically disappears at the end.Betsy Jeff generic cheerleader and jock Both appear to have crushes on Mark.Mark delinquent of the setting cats on fire for kicks variety Hatches the plan to kidnap their teacher, Mr Griffin Guess how that turns out Duncan believes in telling, never showing David is popular we never see him interact with anyone outside of the main five , Mark charms everyone he meets he lacks even the ability to fake empathy, charming consists of refering to girls as baby , Betsy is adorabubs she can t flirt her way out of a speeding ticket Dialogue should not be used to create character or build relationships, but rather to spout exposition about something we already know Bonus points if you have a character say what they just thought I started a counter for every time the kids did something that left physical evidence at the scene of their crime or took an action to invalidate their alibi We hit double digits, people The resolution hints at consequences, but largely brushes aside the responsibility of all but one of our conspirators spoiler it s Mark.I m trying to figure out the audience for this book, but I can t There s no mystery, no suspense, no emotional connection to the characters or their actions whatsoever The lesson, if there even is one, is a trite platitude as tired as the characters who learn it don t give into peer pressure value your teachers, especially the challenging ones PS If you must read, avoid the audiobook The slow southern monotone did nothing to improve my relationship with the characters and almost had me falling asleep in traffic.


  6. says:

    What a great little suspense book for the reluctant reader It is only 222 pages and really is a page turner Students have a nasty teacher well they think he is and one day after they all get bad grades, someone makes the chance remark, That Griffin guy is the kind you d like to kill The leader of the pack, Mark, gets everyone to believe they will just kidnap him, scare him, and Mr Griffin will become a NICE teacher when he sees what it is like ont he receiving end Simple, right NOT as you can tell from the title, Mr Griffin does die and the teens keep looking to Mark for leadership Never once does he think to alert the police, he just keeps on coming up with and schemes to hide the crime What did I learn, that there are many people who can t see a psychopath coming, they get sucked in by his personality and then under his spell, don t seem to have the will to know right from wrong.


  7. says:

    This was kind of crazy and I would have liked it to be longer It starts with a horrible idea by some high school kids to scare their teacher because they don t like how harshly he grades and how strict he is Things of course go wrong and suddenly they re covering up a murder There are five main characters, although Susie, Dave, and Mark dominate the story I would have liked time for Dave and Susie to maybe develop a relationship and Mark has so much going on that isn t addressed The story was intriguing and easy to listen to, just wanted story.


  8. says:

    As a future high school English teacher I found this book a little disturbing Five high school students who are tired of being jerked around by their English teacher, Mr Griffin, plan to kidnap him Their plan is to kidnap and humiliate the teacher The participants include the jock, the cheerleader, the class president, the bad boy, and the mousey nerd Their plan seems to go off as planned, except one little thing Mr Griffin is dead The kids weren t aware that Mr Griffin had a heart condition that lead to his death within hours of the kidnap They try to cover up their crime, but they didn t bargain for Mrs Griffin, that won t let the inconsistancies in their story rest They are quickly found out as their story unravels, but not before another death and attempted murder on one of their own in order to keep the crime hiddent The premise of the story is a good one, but is out of date considering we now have DNA and better crime solving techniques This makes the book a little cheesy at times I m sure at the time it was written the book would have been much believable, but I found myself saying that would never happen.


  9. says:

    I was thinking about reading this book with my classes during the upcoming six weeks After reading it, I m surprised that my school purchased a class set of it Perhaps, eighth graders could handle it but, I know my little sixth graders could not Multiple instances of cursing, the use of illicit substances and the fact that the entire book is about covering up a murder is a bit much I d also feel a knife going into my chest with every Hamlet reference that went completely over my students heads.Good book, otherwise Just not good for my current purposes.


  10. says:

    When I found this old thing sitting quietly on the top shelf of the Young Adult section in Borders, next to a couple Lois Duncan books, I was hesitant It seemed like one of those generic little suspense books for teens like one of those wannabe Twilight fantasy books that have overly cheesy premises and even cheesier dialogue But something about this book made me want to buy all 6 dollars and 99 cents of its glory Was it the cover Maybe Was it the vague description on the back Could be But I m glad I didn t skip the opportunity to read it.Seeing as I ve never read I Know What You Did Last Summer, nor have I seen the movie two facts that I hate admitting , I was pretty shocked when I found out that Lois Duncan is a damn good author Yes, the premise was a little hard to believe a group of high school students team up to kidnap their tough as nails English teacher to give him a little scare , but Duncan makes it work She decides to tell the tale in an unlimited third person perspective, such a smart decision that weaves the entire story together And oh God, the details.Because of the way she told the story, it weaves together, never leaving a single detail unexplained The little things she adds to spice the story up a little bit, making sure that David s grandmother notices the bitter taste of the green Jell O, or that Jeff s parents notice that their son always does things for Mark but he never gives him anything in return, is brilliant Because once the story comes to a finish, readers will put it down, rewind everything in their heads, and let out a nice, long, Ohhhh But while the details are the muscle of the book, they re also the weakness Duncan tells the story so intricately that it seems a bit formulaic at times, sounding as if everything that happened was completely planned out Still, she never lets things get too predictable, and towards the end, the readers are still on their knees, waiting to see what happens I do wish she had tied things up a little , but overall, I am highly satisfied with this book, and I will definitely explore of Lois Duncan s works 4.5 stars.