Sunday, June 7, 2009

What Happened to Cass McBride? By Gail Giles

By: Gail Giles
Publisher: Little Brown Young Readers
ISBN: 978-0316166393
Date: May 1, 2007


This book is a nail-biting story involving three main characters: Cass McBride, David Kirby and David’s older brother Kyle. David commits suicide shortly after he asks the most popular girl in school, Cass McBride to go on a date with him. Kyle believes his younger brother’s suicide is a result of Cass’s rejection and sets forth to kidnap and torture Cass in return. While Cass is entombed in a coffin-like box underground with a breathing tube and a two-way radio for communicating with Kyle, the both of them discuss many issues involving the hardships of life and family. Kyle comes to the realization that it was his mother that was the cause of David’s pain, not Cass and acts on it by almost killing his mother. Cass is left dealing with the mental tortures of the kidnapping ordeal but is getting help.


This book was a roller coaster ride! The storyline never faded and the action started right at the beginning when the police detectives were interrogating Kyle on Cass’ whereabouts. You really feel for David, Kyle and Cass throughout the book. For example, they all had hardships in their lives. David had the verbally-abusive mother, Kyle was left picking up the pieces and trying to help David when he was off at college, and Cass was left with dealing with her parents split and living with her father whose outlook is your image is everything and money means everything!

I liked the writing format in this book because these characters were so important and found the author’s detailed chapters of each of them very important to the story itself. Each of them had a story and I felt this made the book really believable because you were able to humanize each of them. This was a really good book and kept my attention to the very end.

Potential Use:

This book should only be used with high school students. Not that I wouldn’t feel some middle school students would benefit from reading this book, but feel the subject matter of this story needs to be read by someone with a good maturity level. I’m not sure if this book would be picked by a high school student to read leisurely, but this book could be a good one to use in a reading club. Since this book deals with very real life issues such as depression, abuse, suicide and attempted murder this book could be used as a tool to get young adults to open up about these types of issues and when to seek help before a devastating reality happens.

Reader Appeal:

This book would appeal to young adults due to the realistic nature of the story. This would also appeal to anyone who likes mysteries or similar genres.

Other Information:

This book was a nominee for the 2007 “Thumbs Up” award. An interesting note while searching the author’s website you could get a teachers guide and learn how the author wrote this story (

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