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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

School has become a prison.
No one knows why.
There's no way to stop it.

Review:

"This novel set in the near future offers a chilling examination of controlling forces undermining individual rights. After a shooting takes place at Pleasant Valley, a Massachusetts high school, it seems reasonable that extra security precautions should be implemented at neighboring Central High. However, Tom Bishop and his 'Smart Jock' friends grow uneasy as Central High's rules (and punishments for breaking them) become more and more extreme. Tom reluctantly cooperates with the stricter dress code (which, for example, prohibits students from wearing anything red). He also puts up with routine backpack checks, random locker searches and periodic urine tests in order to avoid getting suspended, or worse, being sent to Operation Turnaround, where 'kids check in, and they don't check out.' The sinister clinical psychologist Dr. Willner, who has usurped their beloved principal, finally pushes the narrator beyond his tolerance limit when he asks Tom to throw a game against Pleasant Valley to raise the spirits of its grieving students. No matter what action Tom takes, he realizes that he has much to lose — and discovers that other classmates have faced fatal consequences. In her first novel for young adults, Prose succeeds in keeping suspense high and manages, for the most part, to connect shocking events to a reality familiar to most teens. Her introduction of a science-fiction thread seems chillingly plausible (Dr. Willard uses e-mails to brainwash the teens' parents). This drama raises all-too-relevant questions about the fine line between safety as a means of protection versus encroachment on individual rights and free will. Sure to spur heated discussions. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[E]xcellent....The characters are realistically drawn, and their escalating loss of freedom is told in a believable way. Vivid and memorable, it moves at a fast pace despite its length....Highly recommended." Sherrie Williams, VOYA

Review:

"The story works, even if in the end it seems closer to SF than to realistic fiction — well, a Ray Bradbury kind of SF....Of course, [controlling adolescents] is a theme with enormous appeal for most YAs." Claire Rosser, KLIATT

About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer, as well as fourteen books of fiction, including A Changed Man, winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel, a finalist for the National Book Award. A distinguished critic and essayist, she has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities. She lives in New York City.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

butterfield, June 7, 2006 (view all comments by butterfield)
The thing I loved most about this book is how the author relates it to real life. Although this is a novel, it has many events in it that have a lot to do with what is going on in society today, which is what I believe makes this such a chilling story.
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(4 of 10 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060080839
Author:
Prose, Francine
Publisher:
Joanna Cotler Books
Author:
by Francine Prose
Subject:
Children's 12-Up - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Situations - General
Subject:
Social Situations - Adolescence
Subject:
Schools
Subject:
School & Education
Subject:
Social Situations - Violence
Subject:
Law & Crime
Subject:
High schools
Subject:
Children s All Ages - Fiction - General
Subject:
Social Issues - General
Subject:
Situations / Violence
Subject:
Conspiracies
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction-General
Subject:
Children s Young Adult-Social Issue Fiction
Edition Description:
Paperback
Publication Date:
20040531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 7
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
7.20x5.00x.76 in. .49 lbs.
Age Level:
12-17

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Related Subjects

Children's » General
Children's » Situations » General
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Adolescence
Young Adult » Fiction » Social Issues » Violence
Young Adult » General

After New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.99 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Joanna Cotler Books - English 9780060080839 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This novel set in the near future offers a chilling examination of controlling forces undermining individual rights. After a shooting takes place at Pleasant Valley, a Massachusetts high school, it seems reasonable that extra security precautions should be implemented at neighboring Central High. However, Tom Bishop and his 'Smart Jock' friends grow uneasy as Central High's rules (and punishments for breaking them) become more and more extreme. Tom reluctantly cooperates with the stricter dress code (which, for example, prohibits students from wearing anything red). He also puts up with routine backpack checks, random locker searches and periodic urine tests in order to avoid getting suspended, or worse, being sent to Operation Turnaround, where 'kids check in, and they don't check out.' The sinister clinical psychologist Dr. Willner, who has usurped their beloved principal, finally pushes the narrator beyond his tolerance limit when he asks Tom to throw a game against Pleasant Valley to raise the spirits of its grieving students. No matter what action Tom takes, he realizes that he has much to lose — and discovers that other classmates have faced fatal consequences. In her first novel for young adults, Prose succeeds in keeping suspense high and manages, for the most part, to connect shocking events to a reality familiar to most teens. Her introduction of a science-fiction thread seems chillingly plausible (Dr. Willard uses e-mails to brainwash the teens' parents). This drama raises all-too-relevant questions about the fine line between safety as a means of protection versus encroachment on individual rights and free will. Sure to spur heated discussions. Ages 10-up." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[E]xcellent....The characters are realistically drawn, and their escalating loss of freedom is told in a believable way. Vivid and memorable, it moves at a fast pace despite its length....Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "The story works, even if in the end it seems closer to SF than to realistic fiction — well, a Ray Bradbury kind of SF....Of course, [controlling adolescents] is a theme with enormous appeal for most YAs."
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