Book: The Body of Christopher Creed
Author: Carol Plum-Ucci
On the day that town weirdo Christopher Creed disappeared, his high-school principal got an e-mail from him, with a strong implication that he plans to kill himself. His mother refuses to believe it, and his classmates treat it as a joke. One of the popular crew, however, is deeply disturbed by seeing his own name in the e-mail. As Torey Adams reflects on how he and his classmates treated Chris from kindergarten on, he begins to see that the other boy might have some reason for killing himself. But did he? Or did someone else help him shuffle off this mortal coil?
As Torey and two other town outcasts probe into Chris’s life and disappearance, two questions haunt them. One, to what extent are they, personally, responsible for Chris’s emotional turmoil? And two, could it be possible that he’s still alive?
Plum-Ucci won a 2001 Printz Honor for this book about perception, gossip, reputation, and collective guilt in the destruction of one person. We’ve all known somebody like Christopher Creed--a social cripple, someone who seems to get on everyone’s nerves just by existing. How many of us have stopped to consider what makes them that way, and how much of it is their fault and how much ours?