Cracked

Cracked

For Ages: 14 and up
  • reading group guide
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A teen takes a bottle of pills and lands in the psych ward with the bully who drove him to attempt suicide in this gripping novel.

Victor hates his life. He has no friends, gets beaten up at school, and his parents are always criticizing him. Tired of feeling miserable, Victor takes a bottle of his mother’s sleeping pills—only to wake up in the hospital.
Bull is angry, and takes all of his rage out on Victor. That makes him feel better, at least a little. But it doesn’t stop Bull’s grandfather from getting drunk and hitting him. So Bull tries to defend himself with a loaded gun.
When Victor and Bull end up as roommates in the same psych ward, there’s no way to escape each other or their problems. Which means things are going to get worse—much worse—before they get better.
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  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442429178 | 
  • December 2012 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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CRACKED by K.M. Walton

In this gripping debut, a teen takes a bottle of pills and lands in the psych ward with the bully who drove him to attempt suicide.

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Read an Excerpt

Victor

I HAVE WISHED THAT BULL MASTRICK WOULD DIE almost every single day. Not that I would ever have anything to do with his death. I’m not a psychopath or some wacko with collaged pictures of him hanging in my room and a gun collection. I’m the victim.

Bull Mastrick has tortured me since kindergarten. I’m sixteen now, and I understand that he’s an asshole and will always be an asshole. But I wish a rare sickness would suck the life out of him or he’d crash on his stupid BMX bike and just die.

Lately, as in the past two years of high school, he’s been absent a lot. Each day... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Cracked
By K.M. Walton

Discussion Questions

1. Who do you think had worse parents, Bull or Victor? Why do you think that?

2. Who do you think made the most personal growth by the end of the book, Bull or Victor? Explain.

3. Do you think Bull or Victor would have survived if they hadn’t ended up in the psych ward? Why or why not?

4. Who do you think influenced Bull the most? How about Victor?

5. If you met Victor right now, what would you say to him? How about Bull?

6. Put yourself in Victor’s shoes. What would you do differently? The same? How about if you were in Bull’s shoes? Explain your answers.

7. At what point in Cracked do you feel Bull grows as a human being? How about Victor? What makes you think that?

8. Think of one prediction you had while reading the book and reflect on it. Did it happen? If not, what happened instead? How did making the prediction and reflecting on it help you to understand the book better?

Activities

1. Write a letter to Victor or Bull as if he were your best friend. What would you tell him?

2. Describe the part in Cracked that impacted you the most.

3. Describe the most courageous part of Cracked. Explain it in detail. What made this scene/part so daring?

4. Ma see more

About the Author

K. M. Walton
Photograph [c] Todd Walton

K. M. Walton

K. M. Walton is the author of Cracked and Empty. A former middle school language arts teacher and teaching coach, she is passionate about education and ending peer bullying. She lives in Pennsylvania with her family. Visit her online at KMWalton.com and follow her on Twitter at @KMWalton1.

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