Boot Camp by Todd Strasser

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.


8 Responses to “Boot Camp by Todd Strasser”

  1. 1 noah falkenstein September 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm


  2. 2 Taylor Petty November 1, 2010 at 12:51 pm

    I absolutly hated this book. The ending enraged me enough for me to throw it several feet across my room and wished for me to burn it. Unforunatly though, it was a library book,so I couldn’t destroy it like I wanted to.

  3. 3 Cheree November 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    No longer a teen but I opened this book because the name and cover intrigued me and I was hooked instantly. It’s taken me on an emotional rollercoaster and the ending had to be the most shocking. Normally in these cases the good guys win and all is well in the end..but this book was an exception to that. It saddens me to know what happened it the end and I wish like hell it had been different. The only saving grace was perhaps that two of the children did manage to escape their prison before it was too late for them.

  4. 4 Caleb July 12, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    I am fourteen and had to pick a book for my summer project. I saw the cover and thought it would be about the army or something else. When I started reading this book I realized that what is happening to Garrett is truley unacceptable. I think his dad should of taken him back after six months. This book realy speaks to you.

  5. 5 Trevor August 25, 2011 at 9:54 am

    I loved this book although it sadden me at the end I was completely hook right from the start

  6. 6 aliy January 10, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    although the ending was quit sad i wish the author had pertrayed a better ending . but other then that i think that this book was very good

  7. 7 Irfan A. Mridha November 20, 2012 at 12:34 am

    I absolutly was amazed and taken in awe by the sadistic nauture of the well, inmates and the teachers in this book. I can honestly say that this book was very emotional at times, and it made me feel as though I was Adrian and was going through this experience. Some people did not like the ending, well moraly I did not as well, but I felt it was a fitting and quite different ending. Though I do wish that that there was a sequel to this book telling of Adrians life afterwards this experience, how his relationships change with his girlfriend and parents. How he faces life now and the changes he notices, but stricly hold on to those things taught to him at “Camp”, and mostly how he just changes or stays constant as a human being. I really do wish there was a sequel, but all in all, I felt this book was fantastic, truly one in a million for me.

  8. 8 Anonymous January 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm


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