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The School For Dangerous Girls Hardcover – January 1, 2009

3.7 out of 5 stars 86 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 7 Up—Angela Cardenas's parents have had enough of her irresponsible and difficult behavior and, as a last resort, they send the teen to the Hidden Oak School for Girls, a boarding school in rural Colorado. There the girls are divided into two streams, those who can be rehabilitated—the gold thread, and those who can't—the purple thread. Gold thread girls get schooling and etiquette class, whereas purple thread girls are imprisoned underground. They brutally self-govern, are subjected to mistreatment, and resort to violence to survive. Instead of allowing herself to be convinced that she deserves the punishment she receives, Angela decides to find a way to close the school permanently. A romance with the son of a teacher and the discovery of mysterious deaths from when Hidden Oak was a boys' prep school add suspense; however, the plot becomes too muddled, with some holes, and the tension comes too late. Angela's character is complex and full of contradictions, but all of the adult characters are either vicious or clueless. The extended detail used to establish conditions at Hidden Oak is disproportionate to the quick resolution. The struggle and eventual triumph of the bad girls over the evil teachers makes for an intriguing conflict that many teens will appreciate; however, some may find the easy ending a disappointment. For more discussion of nature vs. nurture, suggest Catherine Jinks's Evil Genius (Harcourt, 2007).—Amy J. Chow, The Brearley School, New York City
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

“What the hell kind of school has a blindfold as standard issue?“ Angela Cardenas discovers that blindfolds are not the only odd things about Hidden Oak boarding school. Supposedly a last-stop chance for rehabilitating “dangerous” girls, the school has an agenda that is not necessarily what it advertises. After having their possessions and clothing taken from them and uniforms issued, the freshmen spend the first month isolated from the rest of campus. As the month draws to a close, girls start to disappear one by one. Those who are redeemable are sorted into the gold thread; the others, Angela later learns, are sorted into the purple thread and are living a “Lord of the Flies” existence with little adult intervention. In an effort to save her friends, Angela decides to be really bad in hopes of getting moved to purple thread. Teens might behave dangerously themselves to get their hands on this page-turner with its commentary on education. Angela cautions, “You’re totally playing into their power system.” Rebecca replies, “Isn’t that how all schools work?” Grades 8-11. --Cindy Dobrez

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press; First Edition edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0545035287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0545035286
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,911,473 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I absolutely LOVED this book! It is very different from most of the YA that I have read... dark, gritty, and fiercely intense. Most of the story is set at Hidden Oak, a boarding school that is really a last resort for girls considered to be unmanageable. Many of these girls are there less for their own actions and more because of their parents' prejudices or inability to care. These are girls that have had less than stellar lives and now are on paths of self-destruction through drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, etc.

Angela Cardenas has been the "bad girl" for most of her life. Her parents were frustrated and tired of dealing with her, so when her grandfather became sick, her parents sent her to live with him. After his untimely death, her parents become convinced that she is in some way responsible so they send her off to Hidden Oak. This is a place that embodies all of the stereotypical darkness of a delinquent facility. It is a lockdown facility and the rules are strictly enforced. "Gold thread" girls are those that the powers that be have decided can be rehabilitated. The "purple thread" girls mysteriously disappear and it is an unspoken rule that they never be mentioned again. What happens to those girls leads Angela onto a path of discovery and a deep-seated desire to escape this dangerous place.

This is a remarkably intense and compelling read. It is dark and full of mystery and intrigue and twists and turns that will keep you turning the pages. It is also an emotionally deep story that drove me to tears more than once. This is a story about decisions, choices, and survival. It is a book that makes you question whether the ends really do justify the means.

The characters in this book were the driving force.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Is this book worth reading? Yes.
Is it going to captivate the audience with suspense and intrigue?
For some, yes. For many, no.

I have read a pre-release of this book via Amazon Vine.
"School for Dangerous Girls" is an easy read, and proficient readers can finish it in a matter of hours. It starts well, with quite a bit of mystery, particularly as to why Angela is sent to the school. We know early on that something happened to her grandfather, and that he died, but not what it was. It is supposed to be a school of last resort for kids who have failed the system in nearly every way, or kids who have been failed by the system... or in some cases, kids who aren't accepted for who they are by their parents- even if they're not the least bit dangerous or even bad.

We have the expected plot of efforts to escape, romantic feelings toward a boy, sneaking out, and abuse issues. Also not entirely unexpected is the fact that the faculty may be more dangerous than their students. There are some good plot twists with the beginnings of adventures, but before too long they peter out and become dull, with repetition of different versions of the same thing over and over.

I imagine a lot of teens will like this book, as I know many will see something of themselves in the girls sent to the school. You have the girl protecting her boyfriend. You have the clever rebel. You have the soft spoken nerd. You have bullies, and you have friendships... some that become life saving, and some that become life threatening.

The biggest twist was what we FINALLY learned became of the girls who had been deemed unreachable. That was one twist that wasn't expected, and probably what made the school more dangerous than anything... and did more harm to the girls involved than could be imagined.
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Format: Hardcover
Angela Cardenas knows she's probably not the best or most well-behaved daughter out there. But then again, she's 15, her grandfather just died, and her parents are being completely mean and forcing her never to see her boyfriend, Trevor, again. It's tough being a girl.

Still, Angela's parents decide she has had enough chances, and they forcibly enroll her at Hidden Oak, a school for dangerous girls. When Angela arrives, she and the other new girls listen to one of the school's teachers explain the rules and mission statement behind Hidden Oak. The particularly haunting motto is, "You are your own worst enemy. And together we will defeat that enemy."

While the treatment of the girls during their "orientation" is horrible, Angela has little trouble finding her niche with a few girls: her roommate, Carmen, who is timid and shy; Riley, who seems to hate Angela but puts up with her anyway; and Juin, their half-French ringleader. Together, they form a "coven" and try to determine what is going on at Hidden Oak. But just as they're starting to figure some things out, girls from their orientation group start to disappear, and it isn't until Angela herself disappears that she realizes what's happening: the teachers are dividing them into dangerous girls who can be corrected and dangerous girls who cannot.

Of course, Angela must do a little detective work. Desperate to learn the history of the school and find out the fate of her cousin, Pilar, who has also attended, she just can't help getting on the bad side of some of the teachers, especially Mrs. Vienna, who seems to have a special vendetta reserved for Angela.

THE SCHOOL FOR DANGEROUS GIRLS is excellently crafted.
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