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Giles, Gail

GILES, Gail

Personal

Born September 24, in Galveston, TX; daughter of Isabel Human; married Jim Giles; children: Josh. Education: Attended Stephen F. Austin State University. Hobbies and other interests: Watercolor painting, reading, computer solitaire, playing guitar.

Addresses

Home Anchorage, AK. Agent Scott Treimel, 434 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10003. E-mail [email protected]

Career

Writer. Taught high school in Angleton, TX.

Awards, Honors

Best Books for Young Adults selection and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, American Library Association (ALA), both 2003, both for Shattering Glass; ALA Teens Top Ten selection, 2003, for Dead Girls Don't Write Letters.

Writings

Breath of the Dragon, illustrated by June Otani, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Shattering Glass, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Playing in Traffic, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004.

Adaptations

Shattering Glass was adapted as an audiobook, Listening Library, 2003.

Sidelights

"Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him." Thus begins Gail Giles' 2002 novel Shattering Glass, "a cautionary tale about high-school popularity and conformity," according to Brian Wilson in Booklist. Giles is also the author of other well-received novels for middle-graders and young adults, including Breath of the Dragon, Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, and Playing in Traffic.

Breath of the Dragon appeared in 1997. In the work, a young Thai girl named Malila is left in the care of her grandmother after Malila's father is killed by police and her mother immigrates to the United States. Grandmother teaches the girl about the traditions of her country, which Malila translates into beautiful drawings. A teacher recognizes Malila's artistic talents, and she eventually makes plans to reunite with her mother. "The story is simply written," remarked Susan DeRonne in Booklist, "and the beauty of the Thai culture emerges on every page." In School Library Journal Susan Hepler wrote that "This gentle story portrays the prior experiences and emotions of many immigrantshardship, vivid memories, and hope."

Giles' young adult novel Shattering Glass describes the efforts of a powerful clique, headed by charismatic Rob Haynes, to flaunt its power by elevating the status of class geek Simon Glass. The plan works but has unexpected consequences: a newly confident Simon challenges Rob's authority and even discovers a terrible secret about Rob's past. Simon's actions only serve to anger Rob and his cronies, including Thaddeus R.

"Young" Steward, the book's narrator. The clique enacts its revenge on Simon in a "shockingly violent climax," according to Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick.

On the Gail Giles Home Page, the author stated that two famous works influenced her novel, William Golding's Lord of the Flies and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. "Lord of the Flies, one of my alltime favorites, made me think about the ability of power to corrupt. I even named my nerd character Simon as an homage to the book," Giles explained. Giles patterned "Young" Steward after the character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. "I liked the narrator, Nick, how he was enamored of the main character, so that his voice was not quite reliable. Now, Nick, in Fitzgerald's novel, is also the moral center of the book and I needed Young not quite that honorable." Giles also addressed her decision to reveal Simon's death so early in her work: "Why did I choose to give away the ending? The ending is violent and the book is not about the violence but what caused it. How things spin out of control. About little wrongs leading to big ones. If I gave the violence away at the beginning, I felt like I defused the shockand shock wasn't the reason for this book to exist."

Critics found much to praise in Shattering Glass. Writing in Kliatt, Sarah Applegate called it "an intriguing and at times painfully real story" of high school life. Vicki Reutter in School Library Journal stated that the "plot is fast-paced and compelling and there is power in the brewing violence and shocking end." Ilene Cooper, reviewing the work in Booklist, noted some holes in the plot but added that "the pacing is superb, and the story's twists are unexpected and disquieting." A critic in Kirkus Reviews remarked that "most intriguing are the quotes heading each chapter, revealing the perspectives of the characters five years later, and which raise questions of justice, mercy, and individual responsibility."

In Giles' thriller Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, strange events are set in motion after Sunny Reynolds receives a letter from her older sister, Jazz, who was presumed killed in a fire months earlier. Jazz then returns home and is immediately welcomed by Sunny's mother and father. Though Jazz seems to know much about the family's history, Sunny believes the woman is an impostor and works to discover her true identity. "This is a page-turner with sharp dialogue and psychologically intriguing viewpoints," remarked Ilene Cooper in Booklist, and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that "teen readers will love having their preconceptions continually turned topsy-turvy, and will endlessly debate the tale's maddeningly ambiguous conclusion." Some critics found the conclusion of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters unconvincing. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that "the swift wrap-up undercuts the carefully crafted nuances of complicated familial relationships," and Lynn Evarts, reviewing the work in School Library Journal, maintained that while "The plot is intriguing,

the ending is just too unclear." In Kliatt, Claire Rosser wrote, "There are plot twists here, which the author manages to pull off if the reader isn't too questioning."

Giles' 2004 work Playing in Traffic concerns two students, shy Matt Lathrop and rebellious Skye Colby, and their odd, unlikely relationship. When Skye takes an interest in Matt, he is intrigued, despite the danger Skye represents. Giles wrote on her Web site: "Why do I write such dark and edgy stuff? I want the reader to come up and sneak a peak at violence and darkness, check out the edge of the abyss and decide it is a trip not to be taken. Read about the road that leads to oblivion, but take another."

Biographical and Critical Sources

periodicals

Booklist, April 1, 1997, Susan DeRonne, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 1334; March 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Shattering Glass, p. 1133; March 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 1317; June 1, 2003, Brian Wilson, review of Shattering Glass (audiobook), p. 1812.

Bookseller, January 16, 2004, Claudia Mody, "Teenage Reads," pp. 37-42.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 181; February 15, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 305.

Kliatt, July, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Shattering Glass, p. 10; May, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 8; September, 2003, Sarah Applegate, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 1617.

Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 188; January 13, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 61; October 13, 2003, review of Shattering Glass, p. 82.

St. Petersburg Times, March 15, 2004, Holly Atkins, "Interview with Gail Giles," p. 4E.

School Library Journal, June, 1997, Susan Hepler, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 117; April, 2002, Vicki Reutter, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 148-149; May, 2003, Lynn Evarts, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 152; July, 2003, Jane P. Fenn, review of Shattering Glass (audiobook), p. 71.

Teacher Librarian, February, 2004, Ruth Cox, "Tough Guys," pp. 10-11.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2003, Bonnie Kunzel, "Shattered by Shattering Glass: A Teen Book Group Forsakes Fantasy for Realism," pp. 19-21.

online

Children's Literature Resources Web site, http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/ (March 5, 2004), interview with Giles.

Gail Giles Home Page, http://www.galegiles.com/ (March 5, 2004).*

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Giles, Gail

Giles, Gail

PERSONAL:

Born September 24, in Galveston, TX; daughter of Isabel Human; married Jim Giles; children: Josh. Education: Attended Stephen F. Austin State University. Hobbies and other interests: Watercolor painting, reading, computer solitaire, playing guitar.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Woodland, TX. Agent—Scott Treimel, 434 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10003. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Taught high school in Angleton, TX.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best Books for Young Adults selection and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, American Library Association (ALA), both 2003, both for Shattering Glass; ALA Teens Top Ten selection, 2003, for Dead Girls Don't Write Letters.

WRITINGS:

YA AND MIDDLE READER NOVELS

Breath of the Dragon, illustrated by June Otani, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Shattering Glass, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Playing in Traffic, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004, Simon Pulse (New York, NY), 2006.

What Happened to Cass McBride?, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2006.

Right behind You, Little, Brown (New York, NY), 2007.

ADAPTATIONS:

Shattering Glass was adapted as an audiobook, Listening Library, 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

"Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him." Thus begins Gail Giles's 2002 novel Shattering Glass, "a cautionary tale about high-school popularity and conformity," according to Brian Wilson in Booklist. Giles is also the author of other well-received novels for middle graders and young adults, including Breath of the Dragon, Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, and Playing in Traffic.

Breath of the Dragon appeared in 1997. In the work, a young Thai girl named Malila is left in the care of her grandmother after Malila's father is killed by police and her mother immigrates to the United States. Grandmother teaches the girl about the traditions of her country, which Malila translates into beautiful draw- ings. A teacher recognizes Malila's artistic talents, and she eventually makes plans to reunite with her mother. "The story is simply written," remarked Susan DeRonne in Booklist, "and the beauty of the Thai culture emerges on every page." In the School Library Journal, Susan Hepler wrote: "This gentle story portrays the prior experiences and emotions of many immigrants—hardship, vivid memories, and hope."

Giles's young adult novel Shattering Glass describes the efforts of a powerful clique, headed by charismatic Rob Haynes, to flaunt its power by elevating the status of class geek Simon Glass. The plan works but has unexpected consequences: a newly confident Simon challenges Rob's authority and even discovers a terrible secret about Rob's past. Simon's actions only serve to anger Rob and his cronies, including Thaddeus R. "Young" Steward, the book's narrator. The clique enacts its revenge on Simon in a "shockingly violent climax," according to Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick.

On the author's Home Page, Giles stated that two famous works influenced her novel, William Golding's Lord of the Flies and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. "Lord of the Flies, one of my all-time favorites, made me think about the ability of power to corrupt. I even named my nerd character Simon as an homage to the book," Giles explained. Giles patterned "Young" Steward after the character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. "I liked the narrator, Nick, how he was enamored of the main character, so that his voice was not quite reliable. Now, Nick, in Fitzgerald's novel, is also the moral center of the book and I needed Young not quite that honorable." Giles also addressed her decision to reveal Simon's death so early in her work: "Why did I choose to give away the ending? The ending is violent and the book is not about the violence but what caused it. How things spin out of control. About little wrongs leading to big ones. If I gave the violence away at the beginning, I felt like I defused the shock—and shock wasn't the reason for this book to exist."

Critics found much to praise in Shattering Glass. Writing in Kliatt, Sarah Applegate called it "an intriguing and at times painfully real story" of high school life. Vicki Reutter in School Library Journal stated that the "plot is fast-paced and compelling and there is power in the brewing violence and shocking end." Ilene Cooper, reviewing the work in Booklist, noted some holes in the plot but added that "the pacing is superb, and the story's twists are unexpected and disquieting." A critic in Kirkus Reviews remarked that "most intriguing are the quotes heading each chapter, revealing the perspectives of the characters five years later, and which raise questions of justice, mercy, and individual responsibility."

In Giles's thriller Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, strange events are set in motion after Sunny Reynolds receives a letter from her older sister, Jazz, who was presumed killed in a fire months earlier. Jazz then returns home and is immediately welcomed by Sunny's mother and father. Though Jazz seems to know much about the family's history, Sunny believes the woman is an impostor and works to discover her true identity. "This is a page-turner with sharp dialogue and psychologically intriguing viewpoints," remarked Ilene Cooper in Booklist, and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that "teen readers will love having their preconceptions continually turned topsy-turvy, and will endlessly debate the tale's maddeningly ambiguous conclusion." Some critics found the conclusion of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters unconvincing. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that "the swift wrap-up … undercuts the carefully crafted nuances of complicated familial relationships," and Lynn Evarts, reviewing the work in the School Library Journal, maintained that while "the plot is intriguing, … the ending is just too unclear." In Kliatt, Claire Rosser wrote, "There are plot twists here, which the author manages to pull off if the reader isn't too questioning."

Giles's 2004 work Playing in Traffic concerns two students, shy Matt Lathrop and rebellious Skye Colby, and their odd, unlikely relationship. When Skye takes an interest in Matt, he is intrigued, despite the danger Skye represents. Giles wrote on her Home Page: "Why do I write such dark and edgy stuff? I want the reader to come up and sneak a peak at violence and darkness, check out the edge of the abyss and decide it is a trip not to be taken. Read about the road that leads to oblivion, but take another."

Giles published the novel What Happened to Cass McBride? in 2006. Here Giles narrates the story through three contrasting perspectives: Cass, Kyle, and detective Ben Gray. Through interviewing family and friends, Gray learns of a terrible desire for revenge that Kyle has for Cass. Kyle blames Cass single-handedly for his younger brother's suicide, which he attributes to Cass' nasty rejection letter after his brother asks her out. Cass, who is the kind of girl that does whatever it takes to remain popular in high school, is then kidnapped, tortured, and buried alive by Kyle. Reviews for What Happened to Cass McBride? were mostly positive, even though many critics were startled by the plot. Norah Piehl, writing on the TeenReads.com Web site, concluded that the novel is "a complex, sophisticated suspense novel that will challenge readers' expectations while still keeping them up late at night." Kliatt contributor Janis Flint-Ferguson noted that "the setting is claustrophobic, the characters are complex, and the story will keep readers on the edge of their seats." Sherry Quinones, writing in the School Library Journal, described the novel as "a thrilling, one-sitting read that [readers] won't be able to put down." A critic writing in Kirkus Reviews summed up the work by calling the novel "a damn scary read."

Right behind You, Giles's next book, is a dark story of redemption. It begins in rural Alaska, where nine-year-old Kip lives alone with his father. Their life is a calm and simple one until Kip appears to snap and, in a fit of jealousy, kills the neighbor boy by setting him on fire and watching as he burns to death. His violent act lands Kip in a juvenile psychiatric hospital for criminals, where he spends four and a half years in treatment. Once he is released and reunited with his father, who has now remarried, the entire family takes on new identities and they move to Indiana in hopes of starting a new life. But Kip—now going by Wade—learns that his demons still follow no matter where he moves or what he calls himself. Wade struggles to build a new life in Indiana. He is smart and well-spoken, and intent on having a better future. In an effort to fit in, he joins the swim team at his new school, where he soon excels. He makes friends, and even gets a girlfriend. However, the truth, always so close to the surface, comes spilling out one night when Wade gets drunk with a bunch of his buddies. The family is forced to relocate once again, this time traveling to Texas, and Wade finds himself home schooled in order to limit his interactions with his peers and thereby the temptation to reveal his secrets. Ironically, it is there that he finally meets someone he feels understands him for who he really is, the girl next door who has her own traumatic past. A reviewer for Publishers Weekly praised the book, stating that "this story explores, with sympathy and compassion, the nature of guilt, atonement and forgiveness." In a review for Booklist, writer Stephanie Zvirin remarked that "Giles' fans won't find outright thrills, but they'll come away with a greater understanding of redemption and forgiveness." A contributor for Kirkus Reviews remarked that "this powerful and moving novel of self-discovery gives no easy answers." Myrna Marler, a reviewer for Kliatt, ventured: "Crisply written without sentimentality, this novel deals well with themes of family loyalty, forgiveness both of self and of others." Lynn Rashid, in a review for School Library Journal, declared that "reluctant readers will be drawn to the story's accessibility, and many teens will be pulled in by the larger questions the novel poses." Teri Lesesne, at the start of an interview with Giles for Teacher Librarian, observed of her writing style: "Giles does not present a ‘happily ever after’ view of the adolescent world. Instead, she asks her characters to reflect the real and sometimes grim world where events can spiral out of control quickly."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 1997, Susan DeRonne, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 1334; March 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Shattering Glass, p. 1133; March 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 1317; June 1, 2003, Brian Wilson, review of Shattering Glass (audiobook), p. 1812; January 1, 2007, Ilene Cooper, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?, p. 80; October 15, 2007, Stephanie Zvirin, review of Right behind You, p. 45.

Bookseller, January 16, 2004, Claudia Mody, "Teenage Reads," pp. 37-42.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 181; February 15, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 305; October 15, 2006, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?, p. 1071; August 1, 2007, review of Right behind You.

Kliatt, July, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Shattering Glass, p. 10; May, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 8; September, 2003, Sarah Applegate, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 16-17; September 1, 2006, Janis Flint-Ferguson, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?, p. 12; September, 2007, Myrna Marler, review of Right behind You, p. 12.

Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 188; January 13, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 61; October 13, 2003, review of Shattering Glass, p. 82; November 13, 2006, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?, p. 59; June 18, 2007, review of Right behind You, p. 56.

St. Petersburg Times, March 15, 2004, Holly Atkins, "Interview with Gail Giles," p. 4E.

School Library Journal, June, 1997, Susan Hepler, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 117; April, 2002, Vicki Reutter, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 148-149; May, 2003, Lynn Evarts, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 152; February 1, 2007, Sherry Quinones, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?, p. 116; September, 2007, Lynn Rashid, review of Right behind You, p. 196.

Teacher Librarian, February, 2004, Ruth Cox, "Tough Guys," pp. 10-11; April, 2005, Teri Lesesne, "A Dark and Dangerous World: An Interview with Gail Giles," p. 57.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2003, Bonnie Kunzel, "Shattered by Shattering Glass: A Teen Book Group Forsakes Fantasy for Realism," pp. 19-21.

ONLINE

Cynthia Leitich Smith Web site,http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/ (March 5, 2004), author interview.

Gail Giles Home Page,http://www.gailgiles.com (March 5, 2004).

TeenReads.com,http://www.teenreads.com/ (July 11, 2007), Norah Piehl, review of What Happened to Cass McBride?

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"Giles, Gail." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. 16 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"Giles, Gail." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved August 16, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/giles-gail

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Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

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http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Giles, Gail

GILES, Gail

PERSONAL:

Born September 24, in Galveston, TX; daughter of Isabel Human; married Jim Giles; children: Josh. Education: Attended Stephen F. Austin State University. Hobbies and other interests: Watercolor painting, reading, computer solitaire, playing guitar.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Anchorage, AK. Agent—Scott Treimel, 434 Lafayette St., New York, NY 10003. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer. Taught high school in Angleton, TX.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Best Books for Young Adults selection and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, American Library Association (ALA), both 2003, both for Shattering Glass; ALA Teens Top Ten selection, 2003, for Dead Girls Don't Write Letters.

WRITINGS:

Breath of the Dragon, illustrated by June Otani, Clarion Books (New York, NY), 1997.

Shattering Glass, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2002.

Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2003.

Playing in Traffic, Roaring Brook Press (Brookfield, CT), 2004.

ADAPTATIONS:

Shattering Glass was adapted as an audiobook, Listening Library, 2003.

SIDELIGHTS:

"Simon Glass was easy to hate. I never knew exactly why, there was too much to pick from. I guess, really, we each hated him for a different reason, but we didn't realize it until the day we killed him." Thus begins Gail Giles's 2002 novel Shattering Glass, "a cautionary tale about high-school popularity and conformity," according to Brian Wilson in Booklist. Giles is also the author of other well-received novels for middle graders and young adults, including Breath of the Dragon, Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, and Playing in Traffic.

Breath of the Dragon appeared in 1997. In the work, a young Thai girl named Malila is left in the care of her grandmother after Malila's father is killed by police and her mother immigrates to the United States. Grandmother teaches the girl about the traditions of her country, which Malila translates into beautiful drawings. A teacher recognizes Malila's artistic talents, and she eventually makes plans to reunite with her mother. "The story is simply written," remarked Susan DeRonne in Booklist, "and the beauty of the Thai culture emerges on every page." In School Library Journal Susan Hepler wrote, "This gentle story portrays the prior experiences and emotions of many immigrants—hardship, vivid memories, and hope."

Giles's young adult novel Shattering Glass describes the efforts of a powerful clique, headed by charismatic Rob Haynes, to flaunt its power by elevating the status of class geek Simon Glass. The plan works but has unexpected consequences: a newly confident Simon challenges Rob's authority and even discovers a terrible secret about Rob's past. Simon's actions only serve to anger Rob and his cronies, including Thaddeus R. "Young" Steward, the book's narrator. The clique enacts its revenge on Simon in a "shockingly violent climax," according to Kliatt reviewer Paula Rohrlick.

On the Gail Giles Home Page, the author stated that two famous works influenced her novel, William Golding's Lord of the Flies and F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. "Lord of the Flies, one of my all-time favorites, made me think about the ability of power to corrupt. I even named my nerd character Simon as an homage to the book," Giles explained. Giles patterned "Young" Steward after the character of Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby. "I liked the narrator, Nick, how he was enamored of the main character, so that his voice was not quite reliable. Now, Nick, in Fitzgerald's novel, is also the moral center of the book and I needed Young not quite that honorable." Giles also addressed her decision to reveal Simon's death so early in her work: "Why did I choose to give away the ending? The ending is violent and the book is not about the violence but what caused it. How things spin out of control. About little wrongs leading to big ones. If I gave the violence away at the beginning, I felt like I defused the shock—and shock wasn't the reason for this book to exist."

Critics found much to praise in Shattering Glass. Writing in Kliatt, Sarah Applegate called it "an intriguing and at times painfully real story" of high school life. Vicki Reutter in School Library Journal stated that the "plot is fast-paced and compelling and there is power in the brewing violence and shocking end." Ilene Cooper, reviewing the work in Booklist, noted some holes in the plot but added that "the pacing is superb, and the story's twists are unexpected and disquieting."

A critic in Kirkus Reviews remarked that "most intriguing are the quotes heading each chapter, revealing the perspectives of the characters five years later, and which raise questions of justice, mercy, and individual responsibility."

In Giles's thriller Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, strange events are set in motion after Sunny Reynolds receives a letter from her older sister, Jazz, who was presumed killed in a fire months earlier. Jazz then returns home and is immediately welcomed by Sunny's mother and father. Though Jazz seems to know much about the family's history, Sunny believes the woman is an impostor and works to discover her true identity. "This is a page-turner with sharp dialogue and psychologically intriguing viewpoints," remarked Ilene Cooper in Booklist, and a critic in Kirkus Reviews stated that "teen readers will love having their preconceptions continually turned topsy-turvy, and will endlessly debate the tale's maddeningly ambiguous conclusion." Some critics found the conclusion of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters unconvincing. A Publishers Weekly critic wrote that "the swift wrap-up … undercuts the carefully crafted nuances of complicated familial relationships," and Lynn Evarts, reviewing the work in School Library Journal, maintained that while "the plot is intriguing, … the ending is just too unclear." In Kliatt, Claire Rosser wrote, "There are plot twists here, which the author manages to pull off if the reader isn't too questioning."

Giles's 2004 work Playing in Traffic concerns two students, shy Matt Lathrop and rebellious Skye Colby, and their odd, unlikely relationship. When Skye takes an interest in Matt, he is intrigued, despite the danger Skye represents. Giles wrote on her Web site: "Why do I write such dark and edgy stuff? I want the reader to come up and sneak a peak at violence and darkness, check out the edge of the abyss and decide it is a trip not to be taken. Read about the road that leads to oblivion, but take another."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 1, 1997, Susan DeRonne, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 1334; March 1, 2002, Ilene Cooper, review of Shattering Glass, p. 1133; March 15, 2003, Ilene Cooper, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 1317; June 1, 2003, Brian Wilson, review of Shattering Glass (audiobook), p. 1812.

Bookseller, January 16, 2004, Claudia Mody, "Teenage Reads," pp. 37-42.

Kirkus Reviews, February 1, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 181; February 15, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 305.

Kliatt, July, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Shattering Glass, p. 10; May, 2003, Claire Rosser, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 8; September, 2003, Sarah Applegate, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 16-17.

Publishers Weekly, February 11, 2002, review of Shattering Glass, p. 188; January 13, 2003, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 61; October 13, 2003, review of Shattering Glass, p. 82.

St. Petersburg Times, March 15, 2004, Holly Atkins, "Interview with Gail Giles," p. 4E.

School Library Journal, June, 1997, Susan Hepler, review of Breath of the Dragon, p. 117; April, 2002, Vicki Reutter, review of Shattering Glass, pp. 148-149; May, 2003, Lynn Evarts, review of Dead Girls Don't Write Letters, p. 152; July, 2003, Jane P. Fenn, review of Shattering Glass (audiobook), p. 71.

Teacher Librarian, February, 2004, Ruth Cox, "Tough Guys," pp. 10-11.

Voice of Youth Advocates, April, 2003, Bonnie Kunzel, "Shattered by Shattering Glass: A Teen Book Group Forsakes Fantasy for Realism," pp. 19-21.

ONLINE

Children's Literature Resources Web site,http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/ (March 5, 2004), interview with Giles.

Gail Giles Home Page,http://www.galegiles.com (March 5, 2004).*

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