What would be a thematic statement for the book Restart and what is the strongest evidence from the book to support it?

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Restart is a novel written by Gordon Korman. It was first published in 2017. The story is about Chase, a boy who suffers from amnesia following an accident. It deals with how Chase’s life changes after the accident.

A thematic statement with regard to this novel could be that the main theme of the novel is bullying. Chase used to be a bully, and he used to be friendly with other students, Aaron and Bear, who also enjoyed bullying. Chase’s bullying was so cruel that it even made a student, Joel Weber, move to a different school in order to escape Chase. The theme of bullying is further explored through the character of Brendan, who has fallen victim to bullying himself. Therefore, bullying is covered in this novel both through the eyes of the perpetrator, but also through the eyes of a victim.

However, through re-discovering his past, Chase realises that the identity of "the bully" is not the person he wants to be. Therefore, one could also look at a different thematic statement: through the novel, the author shows the reader that it is possible to change who you are. Chase used to be a bully at school, but he doesn’t remember that. He just begins to realise that this is who he was because of the various reactions he receives when he returns back to school after his accident. He tries his best to change, by surrounding himself with new friends and not returning to his old ways. Through his novel, Korman shows the reader that it may well be hard to change—but it is possible. Just as his principal, Dr. Fitzwallace states: it’s a “chance to rebuild yourself from the ground up, to make a completely fresh start.”

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