Dead Ends


Author – Erin Lange

Age – 14+

Dane gets angry. A lot. When someone annoys him his palms get itchy, and he learnt when he was young, that the only thing that will make the itch go away is to hit the problem. He has a rep as a bully at school and is getting closer to suspension and then expulsion than he likes. He gets good grades and cares about school, but can’t keep his fists to himself. His mum isn’t happy about it either, but understands some of the anger that seems to build up inside him. He asks every now and then about his father, but she tells him nothing, changing the subject or going to work at her yoga classes.
One day Dane realises he has a new neighbour who introduces himself as Billy D. He’s special, looks different with his round face, and slightly protruding tongue. He yells out to Dane and answers back, but Dane doesn’t hit retards or girls – it’s one of his rules.
But when Billy D asks to walk with him to school, Dane isn’t happy about it. It happens anyway – a deal struck between an impatient school warden and Billy D. If Dane helps Billy D around school, looks out for him and walks him to school and back every day, the warden will get off Dane’s case and maybe even erase some black marks on his school record….

(Road Trip, Friendship, Bullying, Down Syndrome, Abuse, Anger, Prejudice, School)


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