Thursday, March 19, 2009

Alt Ed by Catherine Atkins

Alt edAlt Ed by Catherine Atkins

(Read today!)

An unlikely group of teens are thrown together by their “alternative education” class – a last chance for students facing expulsion. The six students – the preppy overachiever, the popular jock, the mean redneck, the school slut, the fat girl, and the gay kid – become mirrors for each others’ insecurities and strengths. The bullied confront their bullies, the victims realize their power, and everyone comes out with a fuller understanding of themselves. I don’t mean to sound skeptical or dismissive. I can’t fault the book for its neatness (okay, maybe I can), and certainly it’s nice to end with a positive message. Contrived, yes, but perhaps it is a commentary on the contrived nature of high school itself… and beyond that, all of human society. The characters are well-formed, not just cardboard cutouts of their high school type. The protagonist, a lonely overweight girl who is dealing with the death of her mother as well as daily bullying at school, is a refreshing narrator because she isn’t bogged down in self-pity. And she has a kitty. Overall, a nice read, with convincing characters and occasionally thought-provoking dialogue.

1 comment:

Mychaela said...

I have read this book! i think that you did a good job on describing this book! Very well done!
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