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A 16-year-old kid named Shayne Blank walks into a police station and announces that he has killed someone. Detective Rawls, intrigued by ShayneÃ¢ÂÂs calmness, allows the teen to lead him through the entire story, right up to the murder. These chapters, told from RawlsÃ¢ÂÂ point of view, alternate with the backstory, told by Mikey, a perennially bullied, suit-wearing eleventh-grader who makes a bond with the new kidÃ¢ÂÂShayneÃ¢ÂÂwho Mikey describes as always Ã¢ÂÂmeasuring, evaluating, computing.Ã¢ÂÂ Shayne also has jaw-dropping hand-to-hand combat skills, and soon both kids are unwillingly dragged into the drama of a teenage drug dealer. ItÃ¢ÂÂs a classic crime setup, but in HautmanÃ¢ÂÂs hands, character comes first, and Mikey is better fleshed out than most protagonists. Shayne provides a different and unusual challenge: by definition, he is a mystery, something of a blank slate. He is more superhero than anything else, and an epilogue explanation may divide readers into those who appreciate HautmanÃ¢ÂÂs finality and those who would have preferred not knowing the full truth. Grades 8-11. --Daniel Kraus --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
* "Masterfully written with simple prose, solid dialogue and memorable characters, the tale will grip readers from the start and keep them reading in one big gulp, in the hope of seeing behind Shayne's mask. A sure hit with teen readers."--"Kirkus Reviews", starred review * "Hautman's skillful pacing, funny dialogue, and fully realized characters make this a taut mystery that's nearly impossible to put down."--"Publishers Weekly", starred review "With lightning-fast pacing, plenty of dialogue, and a modest page count, this will be an easy sell to teens on the prowl for a quick-pick thriller. "--"The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books" ""Blank Confession'"s deft and timely exploration of bullying will find an eager audience among teens searching for gripping, realistic fiction. Steer readers who appreciated Michael Harmon's "Brutal" (Knopf, 2009) and Courtney Summers's "Some Girls Are" (St. Martin's, 2010) to this novel."--"School Library Journal" " [A] character-driven thriller.""--The Horn Book"