Summary: Scowler is a psychological thriller that follows a boy named Ryan, who has a very abusive father. Ryan and his family live on a farm with the father and are just barely getting by. One day, Ryan walks in on his mom and his dad abusing her, so Ryan steps and rescues his mom. Ryan is injured, but at least his father is in jail where he belongs. Fast foward a few years later and Ryan is 19 years old. A meteorite shower destroys the prison where Ryans dad is being held and soon, his dad is out for revenge. So now, an already worn down Ryan has to turn to his imaginary friends, Mr. Furrington, Jesus, and Scowler… who can sometimes not be as helpful as his violent. Can Ryan and his family survive from the monster that is out to get them?
Strengths: It was difficult to find the right category for this book. I would describe it as a psychological horror thriller, but I was trying to fit it into one of our categories from the textbook. So I am going to just put it under realistic fiction because the book itself seems like an all too real thriller. The setting is real. The family lives on a farm is just trying to get by. The abusive father is disgustingly cruel, but nonetheless, real. And it all comes together with a young man just trying to save his family from his father.
Connections to Text: When it comes to the development of adolescents, Ry was too traumatized to go through the stages completely. He was too stuck in the hierarchy of needs section of safety and he never got a real relationship from his father, that he completely broke down and had to resort to his “friends” for guidance. Though not fully developed, Ryan still manages to prevail and save his family… except for his dog… and although broken, still can go on.
Kraus, D. (2013). Scowler. New York: Delacorte