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Freeze Frame by Heidi Ayarbe

Freeze Frame
y Heidi Ayarbe

Publishing Information: Harper Teen: New York, 2007
ISBN: 9780061351730
: 376 p.
Ages: 13 & Up

Kyle must re-examine his own memory through the eyes of famous movie directors to solve the mystery of whether he killed his best friend on purpose.

Book Talk:
No matter how many times Kyle rewrites the scene, he can't get it right. He tries it in the style of Hitchcock, Tarantino, Eastwood, all of his favorite directors—but regardless of the style, he can't remember what happened that day in the shed. The day Jason died. And until he can, there is one question that keeps haunting Kyle: Did he kill his best friend on purpose?

Debut novelist Heidi Ayarbe delves into the depths of the human psyche as Kyle wrestles with inner demons that make him wonder whether the world will ever be okay again—or if the best thing to do is find a way to join Jason.
Subject Headings & Major Themes:


Awards & Reviews:
Booklist¸ October 15, 2008, p.35
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, January 1, 2009, p.186
Kirkus Reviews
, October 1, 2008
, November, 2008, p.6
School Library Journal
, February 1, 2009, p.97
VOYA: Voice of Youth Advocates
, December 1, 2008 (Starred Review)

Discussion Questions and Ideas:

  1. Kyle spends most of the novel trying to rewind his memory to a certain point in time. Is there a single point in your own history that you’d like to rewind to, so you could erase or change it? How would your life be different?
  2. Have you ever had to forgive a friend for something serious? Or ask a friend for forgiveness for something serious? Did you?
  3. What things in their relationship led Kyle to believe that he may have intentionally killed Jason? 
  4. If a movie were being made from your life, what would you want to include? Who would star in it? What genre would you want it to be (romantic comedy, drama, horror, science fiction, mystery)?
  5. If your best friend moved away and was suddenly gone from your everyday life, how would you fill the hole?
  6. What do you think caused Jason to seek out other friends? Do you think this was a betrayal of their friendship?
  7. One way that Kyle deals with his grief over losing Jason is by reading the books that Kyle has borrowed from the library. Which books, CDs or movies would you choose to define your life?
  8. Kyle doesn’t believe that his visits with Dr. Matthews are useful to him. In what ways did she fail to help? In what ways was she more insightful than she gave him credit for?
  9. When do you think Mrs. Bishop forgave Kyle? How do you know?
  10. Why do you think Chase initially trusted Kyle? Would you have trusted him?

Related Websites:
Author’s Website -
American Hunters & Shooters Association: Teens and Guns -
Teen Grief -
Teen Grief Support and Resources -
TeensHealth: Advice and Answers: Your Mind -
TeensHealth: Stress -
National Youth Violence Prevention Campaign -
Teen Mental Health:

Aimee by Mary Beth Miller, 2002 (2004 RITBA Nominee)
All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard, 2008
Freewill by Chris Lynch, 2001
Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac by Gabrielle Zevin, 2007 (2009 RITBA Nominee)
Monster, by Walter Dean Myers, 1999
Pitch Black: Color Me Lost by Melody Carlson, 2004
Right Behind You, by Gail Giles, 2008
Stay With Me by Garret Freymann-Weyr, 2006
Stone Water by Mel Glenn, 2000
Tears of a Tiger, by Sharon Draper, 1994
This is What I Did, by Ann Dee Ellis, 2007
Tribes by Arthur Slade, 2002
Trigger, by Susan Vaught, 2006 (2009 RITBA Nominee)

Other Books by the Author:
The Million Star Hotel (tentative title), Forthcoming

About the Author:
Heidi Ayarbe grew up in Nevada and has lived and traveled in over 25 countries.  She now lives in Colombia with her husband and daughter.   

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