Genre: Realistic Fiction
# of Pages: 235 p.
RAC Book: Yes
2010 Iowa High School Award Winner
Garrett is forcibly taken from his home and transported to Lake Harmony, which is a reform school for teens. His parents basically signed their rights away and give the boot camp the right to use whatever force they feel is necessary in order to steer their child down the “right path.” Garrett believes that some of the decisions he has made are ones he would make again and that his parents just can’t handle the publicity of having a difficult child. As he struggles not to succumb to the torture, beatings, and humiliation he comes to the terrible realization that he may never get out unless he bends to their will. As he looks around he sees those who have thrived in this school and appear brain washed because of it and those who refuse to give in and look beaten down and exhausted. How can he survive without losing who he is and what he believes in?
Todd Strasser has put the spotlight on these teen bootcamps that are more plentiful in the U.S. than anyone might think. Parents pay thousands of dollars to have their child straightened out, but often the tactics used by these places are unconstitutional. These places work by cutting any trust or communication between parents and their children so that no one thinks they have any choices, but to let the school do what it thinks it best. This is an issue that teens and parents should be aware of and this is a fast paced, exciting story that all teens will love, but especially teen boys.