Sometimes life gets too real, and Caleb Tosh has taken one hit too many. First there was the accident that changed everything for Tosh’s younger brother. Now his mom has left. All that pain, all that grief and loss, have finally pushed Tosh over the edge.

If only he could have a do-over. Wipe his reality. Start fresh. Maybe he could fix all his mistakes and everything would be different. Tosh immerses himself in the complex missions from the game he obsessively plays, The Boneyard. The game bleeds into the dark nature of his everyday life, folding reality into surreality until it’s impossible to separate one from the other. Tosh is desperate to become Worthy, to reach the next level. To Ascend.

Readers are brought on a one-of-a-kind, absorbing journey where no one can say what is real and what isn’t, right up until the shocking yet deeply powerful conclusion.

If you dig books like Going Bovine, I Crawl Through It, or Marbury Lens, then The ABSOLUTENESS of NOTHING is your 2017 read.


Everything led up to this moment—the point when the teasing, the cruelty, the pressure all became too much. And someone finally snapped.

Now six students, from six different cliques, are trapped in the student store while a shooter terrorizes their school. The shooter’s identity is teased out through the students’ flashbacks until the reader breathlessly reaches the final page. It’s only there that he discovers the shocking answer to the question: Who is shooting out in the quad?

This gripping thriller by educator C.G. Watson is inspired by observations made in her own high school. Quad examines in heartrending detail how even the most casual cruelties can tear people apart.

  • Awards: ALA/YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, 2008;
  • Teen Read Week Books With Bite, 2008;
  • Edgar Award Nominee, 2008;
  • CYBILS Award Nominee, 2007

Availability: Purchase a Paperback Copy at:

Materials: You can find a great, student-made Prezi here that can be used in teaching QUAD.