Panic

For Ages: 14 and up
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This gripping and chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper shows that all it takes is one bad decision for everything to change.

Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.

But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?

Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.

It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.

From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.
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  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442408968 | 
  • March 2013 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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Video

Sharon Draper speaks on her controversial novel Panic

Sharon Draper, New York Times bestselling and multiple Coretta Scott King Award winning-author, discusses the creation and inspiration for her novel Panic.

Read an Excerpt

1

JUSTIN, Friday, April 12 4 p.m.

“ ‘Proud and insolent youth,’ said Hook, ‘prepare to meet thy doom.’

“ ‘Dark and sinister man,’ Peter answered, ‘have at thee.’ ”

—from Peter Pan

“Hey, dance boy!”

Sixteen-year-old Justin Braddock, wearing his favorite Timberland boots, tromped down the rain-slicked sidewalk, book bag slung over his left shoulder, heading to the bus stop. He did not turn around—he knew who trailed behind him.

“You heard me, dancing queen! Don’t be... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to Panic By Sharon M. Draper Discussion Questions 1. Panic begins with a confrontation between Justin, a dancer, and some local bullies. How does this help capture the reader’s attention? Discuss the impact of bullies in schools. What is your opinion of how Justin handles the bullies? 2. What predictions can the reader make about Justin and his role as a dancer and a teenager? Compare those predictions to what really happens at the end of the novel. 3. Describe the dance academy and the role it seems to play in the lives of the students who take lessons there. How is the relationship between a dance teacher and her students different from an academic classroom teacher and his or her students? 4. Describe Diamond’s home life. As you first meet Diamond, how is she like many young people today? How is she different? What seem to be her biggest insecurities? Her greatest strengths? What character traits does she have that will help her through the difficulties to come? 5. Describe the initial meeting between Diamond and Thane. How believable is it that he is able to convince her to leave with him? Do you think he planned that confrontation? What would you have done in the same situation? 6. Discuss the reactions of the students to Diamond’s disappearance. Which characters stand out and why? 7. How see more

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