‘MY CHEMICAL MOUNTAIN’
BY CORINA VACCO
Winner of the 13th annual Delacorte Press Prize for a First Young Adult Novel, Corina Vacco’s “My Chemical Mountain” follows Jason who, rocked by his father’s recent death and his mother’s sudden compulsion to overeat, lashes out by breaking into the abandoned mills and factories that plague his run-down town.
Jason and his two best friends — Charlie, a fearless thrill junkie, and Cornpup, a geek inventor whose back is covered with cysts — rage against the noxious pollution that suffocates their town and despise those responsible for it.
At the same time, they embrace the danger of their industrial wasteland and boast about living on the edge.
Then, on a night the boys vandalize one of the mills, Jason makes a costly mistake — and unwittingly becomes a catalyst for change. In a town like his, change should be a good thing. There’s only one problem: change is what Jason fears most of all.
Author Corina Vacco felt compelled to write about toxic towns after reading an article alleging that hundreds of thousands of children and teens throughout the United States attend schools built on or near dangerously polluted sites. She found the inspiration for this book while living in Western New York, where she heard teachers speak out against a landfill adjacent to an elementary school.
Ages 14 up.
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