Killing Mr. Griffin


Duncan,Lois . Killing Mr. Griffin . Dell Laurel-Leaf

Published New York 1987-Print.

ISBN : 0-440-94515-1

Killing Mr. Griffin

Written by : Lois Duncan

Reviewed By : Yashley Reyes

Recommended Audience : High School , Young Adults

   Killing Mr. Griffin was one of the first books written by Lois Duncan that i read, it completely changed the way i thought about reading. The way the book is worded makes it so easy for you to imagine yourself in the book and as if you were a part of the characters lives. It all starts with a teacher, Brain Griffin , who is known as the hard grading teacher. A group of kids decide that they should teach him a lesson or intimidate him into being more lenient teacher so they plan to kidnap him. The plan first starts with mark , the ” mastermind ” , receiving an F from his English teacher , Mr. griffin , and convincing his group of friends that they should teach their teacher a lesson and sugarcoating it by telling them it would be a senior prank. David the president of his high school senior class , when mark mentions his plan he hesitates and doesn’t take it serious at first. Once he notices that mark isn’t playing around he feels a certain fear that mark might be taking it too far. Jeff is a basketball player at their high school who is also part of marks plan, He worships mark so he becomes the easiest for mark to convince. Jeff’s girlfriend Betsy is the head cheerleader of their school and has an interest in mark but is using Jeff to get close to him. Susan is the nerdy student that nobody really talks to. To mark she is the perfect person to make his plan to kidnap Mr. griffin complete. The next day when they all have a bad experience with Mr. Griffin they decide to really go through with the plan the only person they had to include in was Susan. Susan has a crush on David and their group knows about it except David. So they convince David to ask Susan to join their “prank” she doesn’t want to do it at first but when she is continuously being asked and questioned to by the group she eventually agrees. Once they are all set with their plan, Susan gets nervous but goes through with it. She is suppose to ask Mr. griffin for extra help after school and lour him to were the others would be waiting to get him. Things to them are going fine but with marks bad blood towards his teacher, Susan’s guilt, Davids guilt from including Susan, and Betsy worrying more about getting marks attention then the trouble their in it leads trouble into their group. With Mr. Griffin’s pregnant wife worrying endlessly about her husband not coming home, police become notice of it being a typical man who doesn’t want to care for a child and just leaving. As days go by new facts and evidence begin to link up together and slowly but surely the truth comes out.

In the end Susan’s guilt is too strong to bare. She threatens to tell the police everything that they’ve done. Once they realize shes serious about it they no longer see her as part of them but a threat just like they see Mrs. Griffin. Both their lives are almost over because of a fire set to kill them. Things go wrong for everyone, everything they planned to do went wrong, and when they thought they could fix it things just went even worse. At the end of the story Susan isn’t nearly close to the person she used to be. Things she would have cried and wept about before she ends up have an emotionless reaction to. This book is full of emotions. As a reader you get attached to both the characters and their troubles. Lois Duncan does an amazing job in wording a vivid image to the readers with setting, theme, and plots.


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