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Graham McNamee

Publishing Information: Wendy Lamb Books: New York, 2003
ISBN: 0385731191/0440238366 (PB)/0385901445 (Library Binding)
: 210
Ages: 12 & Up

Stuck working in the Lost and Found of the Toronto Transit Authority for the summer, seventeen-year-old Duncan finds the diary of a serial killer and sets out to stop him.

Subject Headings & Major Themes:

Canada - Fiction Psychology
Civic versus Self-Responsibility
Detective and mystery stories
Diaries - Fiction
Personal Growth
Serial murderers - Fiction
Summer Employment - Fiction
Toronto (Ont.) -Fiction

Awards & Reviews:
Arthur Ellis Award, 2003
Edgar Allan Poe Award, 2003
YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, 2004
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2004

BookList, September 15, 2003, p. 232
School Library Journal, November 2004, p.142

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. Of what significance is the title Acceleration in terms of both the plot and character development?
  2. Speculate about what the future will be like for Duncan, his two friends Wayne, Vinny, and his girlfriend, Kim. Take into account the way they were portrayed at the beginning of the novel, their relationships, and what they went through in the course of Acceleration.
  3. Discuss the symbolism in the novel. For example, the significance of Duncan's job being in the sub-basement.
  4. What significance do you think Duncan's nightmares had in terms of the course of action he took?  
  5. What did Duncan discover about the way the mind of a serial killer works? Is there a "profile" of a certain type of person who might become a murderer?
  6. Put yourself in Duncan's place. Had you found the notebook, what would you have done, given the same circumstances?
  7. Describe the characteristics of someone in authority in your life and compare them with the characteristics of Duncan's boss.
  8. Did the author provide a satisfactory ending? How would you change it?
  9. Do you think the police or FBI would take you seriously if you said you found such a notebook? How would you convince them that it didn't belong to you?
  10. Has the book invoked any thoughts about your own safety? What changes do you think you would make in your routine and do you think any of these changes would deter a serial killer?

Related Websites:
Court TV ( - The Investigation Channel(tm) is the leader in the investigation genre, providing a window on the American system of justice through distinctive programming that both informs and entertains.

The Crime Library ( - The Crime Library is a rapidly growing collection of more than over 600 nonfiction feature stories on major crimes, criminals, trials, forensics and criminal profiling by prominent writers.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations ( - Includes crime alerts, information on America's most wanted fugitives, and terrorism information.  

Geographic Profiling ( - One of the focuses of any police investigation is the crime scene and its evidentiary contents. What is often overlooked, however, is a geographic perspective on the actions preceding the offense and the spatial behavior that led up to the crime scene. For any crime to occur, there must have been an intersection in both time and place between the victim and the offender.

Young Adult
Blood Trail by Nancy Springer, 2003
Body of Christopher Creed
by Carol Plum-Ucci, 2000 (2001 RITBA Nominee)
Close to a Killer
by Marsha Qualey, 1999
For Mike by Shelley Sykes, 1998
Head Games by Christopher Golden, 2000
The Killer's Cousin
by Nancy Werlin, 1998
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan, 1978
Never Trust a Dead Man
by Vivian Vande Velde, 1999
The Presence
by Eve Bunting, 2003
The Rag and Bone Shop
by Robert Cormier, 2001
Shades of Simon Gray
by Joyce McDonald, 2001
by Robert Cormier, 1997

Close to Home by Peter Robinson, 2003
Lovely Bones
by Alice Sebold, 2002
Psycho House
by Robert Bloch, 1990
by Keith Ablow, 2003
Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris, 1988
Time Bomb by Jonathan Kellerman, 1990

Other Books by the Author:
Hate You, 1999
Nothing Wrong with a Three-Legged Dog, 2000
Sparks, 2002

About the Author:
Graham McNamee. Male. Caucasian. 5'10". Brown hair. Brown eyes. Born and raised in Toronto, McNamee has been sighted in Vancouver. Present wherabouts unknown.

"Born in Toronto, Canada, in August of 1967. Graduated high school, barely. Took one creative writing course in high school, got suspended for being "overly confrontational", and failed that. Worked the graveyard shift in a couple of factories. Got a job in a bookstore. Now I work at a library.

Anyway, a few years back I saw this notice about a competition for writing a young adult novel. If you win, they publish your book. So I thought I'd give it a try. I mean, writing a book can't be that hard, right? Turns out it was really hard. But I finished it, two seconds before the deadline, and sent it off. And . . . it didn't win. But I came in second and they published my book anyway. That one was called Hate You.

| ©2004 - Rhode Island Teen Book Award Committee | Aaron Coutu, Chair