Bullyville by Francine Prose

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By Francine Prose

My father used to be killed on 9-11.

whilst 8th grader Bart Rangely is granted a ''mercy'' scholarship to an elite inner most institution after his father is killed within the North Tower, doorways must have opened. in its place, he's terrorized and bullied through his personal mentor. So starts the worst yr of his existence.

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Should I tell Gran or my aunts? Mom got dressed for their visits, which meant that she hadn’t totally run off the rails. And even if she hadn’t gotten dressed, even if she’d greeted them in her nightgown, in bed, they would have accepted that, too. And so when it turned out that Dr. Bratton was coming to see us, and it seemed like the first thing that had gotten Mom excited, or even interested, in weeks, I felt I had to get with the program. Fine, let the dude come visit. Let him get a good look at Mom in her bathrobe, with her hair unwashed.

Bratton. ” “You can’t, actually,” said Mom. A silence fell, and we stared at one another. The ball was in his court. He tapped his fingertips together, as if he was afraid they might be sizzling hot and he was testing 47 them to make sure. Then he joined them into a peak, like a church roof, with its spire just under his nose, as if he was sniffing the steeple. “Like everyone else in this country, in the world,” he said, “the Baileywell community has been asking itself what can we possibly do. How can we help, how can we make a difference, how can we react to this terrible tragedy that has shaken us to the core?

The fact that he wasn’t living with us hardly counted, compared to how horribly he’d died, and the fact that he was gone forever. My mom had started tucking me in again at night, like she used to when I was little. And once, 33 when I was half asleep, I heard myself sort of mumbling, asking Mom if she thought we should tell someone . . I didn’t have to finish my sentence. She knew what I meant. She said, “We don’t have to do anything. Except get through this and take care of each other. That’s all.

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