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Out of Control Hardcover – April, 1993


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers; 1St Edition edition (April 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688102085
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688102081
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,766,309 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An incident of sexual harassment occurring in a high school corridor dramatically alters the lives of two of the students involved. Of the three youths accused of assaulting sharp-tongued Valerie Michon, only Rollo, a junior, experiences twinges of guilt which evolve into a desperate need to be forgiven by his family as well as his victim. Meanwhile, bitter, fearful Valerie struggles to regain her independence and trust in men. Readers are sure to recognize some of the novel's characters: macho "Candy," who claims his attack was nothing more than horseplay; and his smaller-than-average buddy, Brig, who longs to be a bigshot. Other prime players include an assortment of teenaged girls who also have experienced various forms of harassment, and the school administrators, whose chief concern is ducking any publicity surrounding the assault. Although the story begins somewhat slowly, the pace quickly increases as events build to a predictable yet gripping climax. In her frank scenario Mazer ( After the Rain ; Taking Terri Mueller ), skillfully avoids sensationalizing either the action or issues; rather, she paints a powerful portrait of loss of control and victimization. Her thought-provoking book underscores the responsibility of victims-- and society in general--to take action against injustice. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews

Perhaps it wasn't exactly a rape, but Valerie knows that those few moments when she was cornered in the school corridor have changed her forever. The nightmares may fade, but she'll never regain her trust in a safe world. With great skill and compassion, Mazer endows the cast of this familiar drama with real individuality. Two of the boys are school leaders with home problems to fuel the anger they act out in mean-spirited pranks; the third--oversize, relatively nice Rollo (whose point of view prevails)--is a follower, thoughtlessly caught up in the excitement of his friends' misdeeds. The student grapevine is swift, adding embarrassment to Valerie's pain; and she gets little sympathy from a principal who thinks first of ``damage control.'' In time, she and some other girls begin to exchange similar experiences, helping her make the decision to write a letter, describing her trauma, to a local paper. Meanwhile, though the other boys persist in thinking the incident was ``no big deal,'' Rollo worries and tries to open communication with Valerie. Still, when she challenges him to imagine himself in her position, he simply doesn't get it--somehow, he persists, he would have been strong enough to escape. Accessible, but far from simplistic, Mazer's balanced depiction of both sides is a powerful demonstration of the evils of harassment and how its victims can assert themselves; it may even help harassers see the other side. (Fiction. 12-17) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

Customer Reviews

Because Rollo wasn't the one with the anger - Brig was.
Audrey Mae
Rollo tries his best to come to terms with what he's done, while trying to figure out whether he is a monster or not.
A. Luciano
After reading this book, I had a different view of victims of sexual assult and harrasment.
DixieG85@aol.com

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Audrey Mae on September 18, 2004
Format: Paperback
I've read other books by this author and normally I'm impressed, but after working for over a year with anger management teens, I can tell you that this author left out a lot of holes in her plot. Teens do not suddenly snap into violence, there is a reason behind. If this book was written more from Brig's point of view, showing the reason to why he got to this point rather then just saying he didn't like her, it would be much better. Rollo and Candy followed their friend without thinking of the consequences, Brig had the actual reason. She did a good job showing Valerie's emotions, but other then that, there were too many holes for me to enjoy this book or actually say it was an accurate description of teen anger. Because Rollo wasn't the one with the anger - Brig was.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Allyn on June 4, 2002
Format: Paperback
Valerie Michon is just an ordinary highschool girl. And "Rollo", "Brigg" and "Candy" are just ordinary highschool guys. Until the day that the guys decide that Valerie's a little annoying and that they might have some "harmless" fun teasing her. But the guys don't know how one thoughtless moment can change their lives, and Valerie could never know how her sense of security and optimism could be altered in the blink of an eye. This novel about sexual assualt is well-written, thought-provoking, and hard-hitting. Norma Fox Mazer keeps it suspenseful and realistic and knows just how to develop the characters. It is written in a way that makes you realize that sexual assault isn't a simple issue and we are challenged to think of the the boys as "normal", not just as monsters. In particular, "Rollo" is shown to have just "jumped on the bandwagon" and lived to regret his actions. Valerie is also portrayed well...struggling with humiliation, anger, and shame. Minor characters also add interesting and contrasting viewpoints and perspectives. To close...a well-done book on a difficult subject. Any teen should read this.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 4, 1999
Format: Paperback
Out of Control by Norma Fox Mazer was unique and engrossing. Mazer wrote about a serious issue in our society, sexual assault. Her writing was life-like and interesting. I especially liked the way Mazer illustrated the emotions of Valerie, the main character. She was a usually intelligent, happy, optimistic girl whose emotions changed drastically after her attack. She was felt anger, hatred, fear and an untrusting feeling with her usually safe world. Mazer's words left a lasting impression on me. Mazer's words left a lasting impression on me. She made me feel some of the emotions that Valerie must have felt For example, she made me feel anger and sadness because attacks like Valerie's really do happen. She made me feel sympathetic and understanding towards every girl who has ever been attacked because she made me wonder how I would feel if I was attacked. I not only liked the way Mazer illustrated Valerie's emotions, I also enjoyed the way she showed other character's emotions like Rollo's. He was one of the boys who attacked Valerie; however, Mazer had a way of making me feel almost sorry for him by showing his thoughts and the way he pursued Valerie. He called her house and tried to see her when ever possible because he wanted her to see that he was really not a bad person. I did understand that Rollo was sorry for what he did; however, I found myself confused by him because he was always having thoughts like this: "With just a tiny movement of his hand he could touch her, with just a tiny movement he could touch Brig (Rollo's best friend) He's so much bigger than both of them that he could crush them, or kiss them. His face is rough and burning. Stupid thoughts, he's always having stupid thoughts.Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is fantastic and I recommend it to anyone who loves emotion, realistic books. This book is mainly about sexual assult and everthing that follows. There is one phrase in the book that is used over and over that has struck me and I believe I'll never forget. "We all know these things happen, but somehow we think they're happening somewhere else to someone else. We read about things in the papers, see them on T.V. Not here, we think. Not us. Not me. That's what I thought. Well, I was wrong. It was me." I've realized how true that is. It's not something you want to think about, but you need to think about what you'd do in that situation. This book is hardhitting, realistic, it makes you think, and it will never leave you. You'll never think the same way after you read this book. "Put fear behind you and do what's right." Not many of us can do that, but those of us who can are truely blessed. Thanks for reading my review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kim on June 5, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book Out of Control by Norma Fox Mazer is very interesting. I thought the book was pretty well written. Mazer writes about sexual harrassment and chooses a different way of expressing it. I ended up feeling bad for Rollo since he didn't know what he was doing and how he truly regreted it so much. Valerie get's harrassed by these three boys in school. Their punishment was not enough and Valerie was left in fear, anger, and sadness. She wouldn't trust anyone anymore. This book shows how difficult it is to stand up for yourself.
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More About the Author

NORMA FOX MAZER is the award-winning author of many novels for young people. She has been honored with the Christopher Award, a Newbery Honor, the Edgar Allen Poe Award, and a National Book Award nomination. She and her husband, novelist Harry Mazer, divide their time between Jamesville, New York, and New York City.