The 100 Most Popular Young Adult Authors: Biographical Sketches and Bibliographies

By Bernard A. Drew | Go to book overview

Julian F. Thompson

Social drama

New York City
November 16,1927

The Grounding of Group 6

Julian F. Thompson's first young adult novel, The Grounding of Group 6, has an unusual premise. Coldbrook Country in Vermont appears to be the perfect boarding school. Five incoming students go on a hike deep into the woods, thinking it is part of their orientation. Instead, they face a killer hired by their parents to bump them off. However, the hired gun, Nat Rittenhouse, has a change of heart. The whole group then has to confront the murderous parents.

Publishers Weekly hailed the writer as having “a remarkable literary style and frightening inventiveness.”

“Obviously conversant with teenagers' attitudes and language,” Nancy C. Hammond said, “the author develops his premise convincingly. Writing fluently about adolescents in one key (romantic realism) and about adults in another (surrealistic black comedy), he doesn't even pretend to play fair. The adolescents, once away from their parents, are all remarkably responsible, good citizens; the lunatic adults are all ridiculous, discordant, and heinously wicked.”

Thompson, whose father was a playwright and businessman, graduated from Princeton and Columbia Universities. He has worked as a coach, a teacher at Lawrenceville School, and a high school director. He married artist Polly Nichy in 1978. He has been a writer since 1979.

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