My Chemical Mountain
My Chemical Mountain
My Chemical Mountain
The Outsiders meets Erin Brockovich meets Bridge to Terabithia in this high-octane drama. TIM THARP, author of The Spectacular Now, National Book Award finalist, calls My Chemical Mountain “A gritty, surprising story that confronts important personal and social issues head-on.” Jason and his friends live for the rush of racing their dirt bikes on Chemical Mountain and swimming in orange, chunky Two Mile Creek. But they hate wealthy and powerful Mareno Chem, the company responsible for invading their territory, polluting their town, and killing Jason's father. The boys want to get even. But revenge has a price--and more than one person will pay.Winner of the Thirtieth Annual Delacorte Press Prize for a First YA NovelA Bankstreet Best Book of the Year “Reminiscent of The Outsiders. . . . Dark and unflinching.” —Kirkus Reviews “Written in the tradition of such early twentieth-century muckrakers as Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris, and Ida M. Tarbell. Angry and urgent, topical and timely."--Booklist  “From Jason’s complex teenage boy perspective, [Vacco] captures both the disheartening helplessness of the situation and the boys’ reckless resistance: ‘We cross a landfill on our way to school. We swim in creek water that smells like nail polish remover . . . We are not fools. We are brave and brilliant.’ There is power and hope in that kind of statement, and Jason’s coming-of-age tale, though dark, is full of both.” —The Horn Book Magazine “Grim but impressive debut . . . lyrical prose and strong characters make it worth the read.” —Publishers Weekly “A budding romance and subtle insight into Jason’s changing relationship with his friends guarantee that there’s a little something for all readers in this well-thought-out, well-executed story.” —School Library Journal “The scenes, the attitudes, the desperation are brilliantly rendered. . . . My Chemical Mountain offers something of that punch-in-the-gut ethos of hard-boiled detectives, transferred to blue-collar youth living in a cauldron of pollution.” —The Tonawanda News“Corina Vacco shows us real-life monsters, up close and very personal.” —ELLEN KLAGES, author of The Green Glass Sea

Book Details


  • Fiction

Age Level: 

  • 12 and up
Profile Picture

My Chemical Mountain is about Jason, who lives near landfills and broken-down factories.  His best friendsare a cautious inventor named Cornpup and a daredevil named Charlie.  Jason’s father died on the job while working for the only company left in the town, Mareno Chem.  His father was trying to expose the company for illegally manufacturing Phenzorbiflux, a dangerous chemical.  Cornpup is trying to bring down Mareno Chem for polluting their town and dumping toxins in the creek.  Jason and Charlie want to help Cornpup, but they don’t completel

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