The Confessional by J.L. Powers

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When longtime animosities between a Mexican and a white American student at a Texas high school finally flare into violence, one ends up in the hospital with a broken arm and a fractured ego. A few hours later, the other ends up dead. In the reverb, friends and enemies alike are left to grapple with loss, suspicion, and rapidly escalating racial tensions. Narrated with brutal candor by six boys—each with a very different take on the week’s events—The Confessional blends murder mystery, contemporary politics, and high school drama to create a gritty, fast-paced read.

From the Paperback edition.

About J.L. Powers

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J. L. Powers, an educator and former newspaper writer, lives in San Bruno, California.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 29, 2008 by Laurel Leaf. 306 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Confessional

Kirkus Reviews

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MacKenzie Malone’s dedication to national pride frays relationships at his El Paso high school, where students are still recovering from last year’s suicide bombing of a local bridge by a Mexican national protesting the treatment of immigrant workers.

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Publishers Weekly

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The first of six narrators, MacKenzie Malone attends a Jesuit high school in El Paso, Tex., where most of the Mexican students have branded him a racist after the controversial letter to the editor he’s written appears in the local newspaper.

Jul 30 2007 | Read Full Review of The Confessional


The book is told from the perspective of 6 different characters who all attend Jesuit High School, a school for boys on the American side of the border.

Nov 13 2007 | Read Full Review of The Confessional

Youth Services Book Review

The main conflict is the murder of the student, but lying in the background are overlying issues such as racism, and just making it through high school life.

Mar 31 2008 | Read Full Review of The Confessional

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