School Library Journal Reviews THE FALL!

School Library Journal reviewed The Fall in their July issue and it’s a good one.

The money quote:


9780312643010-2No, wait.

Um . . . I did like that word though.

There was a complete sentence:

“Told through journal entries, Preller’s latest novel expertly captures the protagonist’s voice, complete with all of its sarcasm, indifference, and, at the same time, genuine remorse.”

There were other kind sentences, too. So why hold back? Here’s the whole dang thing below.

Thank you for the thoughtful review, Kimberly Ventrella, whoever you are!

I really hope this book finds an audience. Fingers crossed.


PRELLER, James. The Fall. 208p. ebook available. Feiwel & Friends. Sept. 2015. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780312643010.

Gr 6-9–A compelling look at the aftermath of bullying, from the bully’s perspective. Sam Proctor thought it was funny the first time he posted a hateful comment on Morgan Mallen’s social media page. It was just a game, after all, and superpopular Athena Luiken said it was his turn to play. Even after Sam befriends Morgan and starts hanging with her outside of school, he continues to post anonymous trash on her page. When Morgan jumps off of a water tower and kills herself, Sam is forced to confront his actions and wonder if a bully can every truly be forgiven. Told through journal entries, Preller’s latest novel expertly captures the protagonist’s voice, complete with all of its sarcasm, indifference, and, at the same time, genuine remorse. Readers will relate to the teen, who’s less a bully than an average guy who gives in to peer pressure and inaction. This fast-paced story will spark discussion on cyberbullying, depression, and how to deal with tragic events. However, the ending introduces an element of magical realism that dampens the impact of an otherwise persuasive realistic tale. VERDICT While the conclusion falls short of the strong setup, this book stands alongside other well-crafted titles on bullying, such as Dori Hillestad Butler’s The Truth About Truman School (Albert Whitman, 2008) and Preller’s Bystander (Feiwel & Friends, 2009).–Kimberly Ventrella, Southwest Oklahoma City Library




  1. Shannon says:

    I am looking for the lexile score on this book…I cannot find it listed anywhere! Please help! My son loves the book and wants to do his book report on it. Thanks in advance!

    • jimmy says:

      Shannon, I stay out of the “lexile score” stuff. From what I know, it doesn’t seem to have any real value or meaning. Is the idea that if the book doesn’t meet a certain difficulty standard, then your son wouldn’t be able to get credit for the report? Have I got that right?

      • Shannon says:

        Yes this new lexile crap is really frustrating me! I am so glad this was not around when I was a student…I probably would not have the love for reading that I do today if books were hand picked for me based on a stupid score! This lexile score needs to stop before we make kids dislike reading because they cannot choose a book merely because they want to read it but because it meets a certain criteria set forth by whom?!? I spoke with the teacher regarding this and she actually sided with me and is allowing the book report to be done even though there is no lexile score. Thank you for your reply. I wish the people making this nonsense up would just stop and let our kids learn to love reading because they can choose what they want to read based on personal choice rather than a stupid lexile score!!!

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