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After the First Death Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1991


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Frequently Bought Together

After the First Death + Speak + The Fault in Our Stars
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 740L (What's this?)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf (February 1, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440208351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440208358
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.1 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Cambridge Literature is a series of literary texts edited for study by students aged 14-18 in English-speaking classrooms. It will include novels, poetry, short stories, essays, travel-writing and other non-fiction. The series will be extensive and open-ended and will provide school students with a range of edited texts taken from a wide geographical spread. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Who will be the next to die?

They've taken the children. And the son of a general. But that isn't enough.

More horrors must come...


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Customer Reviews

I read this book last year in my 8th grade English class.
Claire
I felt the author did a very good job in detailing the main characters but the story was dark, grim, and bleak at times.
Sylviastel
This book seemed so realistic and had an amazing ending which I never would have guessed!
"princesstammy"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin on January 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Using a narrative tool employed by THE CATCHER IN THE RYE to startling effect, Robert Cormier goes inside the minds of three teens, one of them apparently institutionalized, to tell the story of how they dealt with a terrorist attack in AFTER THE FIRST DEATH. It's a brilliant novel, one of Cormier's most frightening and effective, and it doesn't matter that it's classified as "juvenile literature." Given the realistic and topical aspects of the plot, AFTER THE FIRST DEATH is a page-turner, no matter how old you are.
Two foreign terrorists, one of them a teenager, hijack a bus filled with small children on their way to summer camp. They take the bus to a bridge, announce their intentions and demands and begin to negotiate the release of the hostages with local military. Though they're reluctant, they assure the military that they will kill children if their demands are not met. The teen terrorist, one of the narrators, is both a frightening figure and a confused kid. He's capable of volatile actions, yet, at the same time, he's young, occasionally caring and vulnerable.
Another of the narrators is Kate, the 16-year-old girl who is substituting for the bus driver on the day of the standoff. Thus, she becomes the primary caregiver for the children, who end up drugged, scared and sick. At the same time, she's still just a child herself, questioning her own bravery. Her relationship with the teen terrorist becomes key, as well, for she's the first girl with whom he's had any contact. She senses his feelings and wonders if she can use them to her advantage, if she even dares to do so.
The third narrator, the son of the general who's negotiating the standoff, is the one in the institution, telling the story in flashback.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert James on October 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"After the First Death" is an outstanding, exciting read, driven by terrorism, violence, and bloodshed -- and, even more importantly, by Robert Cormier's tight, lyrical prose. Few other young adult novels are written with this level of verbal ingenuity. What impressed me most about the book's style is the mixture of narrators and narrative styles; Cormier shifts from first person to third person and back again, jumping back and forth in time as well. Normally, such an experimental style would drive young readers bonkers, but Cormier makes it work beautifully. This is a book that worked on all levels for me, both as a reader and a teacher, and it's been a very successful read with my freshmen. "The Chocolate War" may be his most famous, but I think "After the First Death" is his best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Claire on January 18, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book last year in my 8th grade English class. I was used to reading books for school that were boring and a chore to read. But this year, every book was amazing. One was After the First Death. This book pulled me in from the start. It was suspenseful and weird. You got inside the mind of a "bad" person. And you felt sympathy for this person. I read this book really quickly, It really helped to discuss this book as a class and talk about the ending. I would have never understood it fully without discussing it. Robert Cormier is a fabulous author. This is his best work that I have read so far. The Chocolate War was good as well. but After the First Death was more intriuging
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin on January 30, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Using a narrative tool employed by THE CATCHER IN THE RYE to startling effect, Robert Cormier goes inside the minds of three teens, one of them apparently institutionalized, to tell the story of how they dealt with a terrorist attack in AFTER THE FIRST DEATH. It's a brilliant novel, one of Cormier's most frightening and effective, and it doesn't matter that it's classified as "juvenile literature." Given the realistic and topical aspects of the plot, AFTER THE FIRST DEATH is a page-turner, no matter how old you are.
Two foreign terrorists, one of them a teenager, hijack a bus filled with small children on their way to summer camp. They take the bus to a bridge, announce their intentions and demands and begin to negotiate the release of the hostages with local military. Though they're reluctant, they assure the military that they will kill children if their demands are not met. The teen terrorist, one of the narrators, is both a frightening figure and a confused kid. He's capable of volatile actions, yet, at the same time, he's young, occasionally caring and vulnerable.
Another of the narrators is Kate, the 16-year-old girl who is substituting for the bus driver on the day of the standoff. Thus, she becomes the primary caregiver for the children, who end up drugged, scared and sick. At the same time, she's still just a child herself, questioning her own bravery. Her relationship with the teen terrorist becomes key, as well, for she's the first girl with whom he's had any contact. She senses his feelings and wonders if she can use them to her advantage, if she even dares to do so.
The third narrator, the son of the general who's negotiating the standoff, is the one in the institution, telling the story in flashback.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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