Bruiser by Neal Shusterman
Tennyson is not happy when he finds out his twin sister Bronte is dating Brewster Rawlins, also known as Bruiser. Bruiser was voted the “most likely student to get the death penalty before graduating high school” by the entire school. He’s the kid no one really knows, no one talks to, but everyone hears the nasty rumors about. Bronte insists that Bruiser is misunderstood and that is when Tennyson decides to confront Bruiser. In the school’s locker room, Tennyson threatens Bruiser to stay away from his sister, but instead of fighting back, Bruiser just walks away without a word. That is when Tennyson sees something quite disturbing……Bruiser’s back is covered with scars, bumps and bruises…..as if someone has been beating him again and again.
This is where the story begins! Brewster and his little brother Cody live with their uncle, a mean man who abuses both of them physically and emotionally. But Bruiser has a gift……if he loves you, he will take away your physical pain and injuries as well as your emotional anger, hurt and grief, and heal you at his own expense, whether he wants to or not. Thus, Cody and other loved ones never exhibit any wounds.
Neal Shusterman has crafted a compelling, thought-provoking novel that demonstrates the power of love and what sacrifices one will make for those he cares for.
Submitted by Mary G. Adamowski, Head of Youth Services, Orland Park Public Library