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A Letter to High School Students

Over the past week I received a dozen letters from students who read Look Me in the Eye as part of English class in Southbury CT. At first I thought to answer them one by one, but now they're coming by the dozen and I thought I'd answer them all here.  
You asked about my childhood pranks.  Why did I do them, and how could I do such awful things?  Two passages in the book seemed to stand out for a number of you. One was when my parents were taking us to a therapist, and my little brother was too young to accompany us. I was about 14, and he was 6.  I suggested we chain Varmint (that was what I named him) up in the basement, and several of you asked: was that sarcasm, or did I really do it?
Yes, I really called him Varmint. Many of you have brothers and sisters.  I suspect, if you admit the truth, each of you has wished to chain your sibling in the basement on more than one occasion.  Did you actually do it, or was it only an idea? Remember, in the book I just suggest it.
The …

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