Carl DeReese only wants to survive junior high school in the Salt Lake City suburbs, but in an era when teachers are afraid of the students, some of his behavior is misdiagnosed as threatening. His longing to fit into a new school is complicated by a family tragedy, followed by a breakdown in the classroom that leads to criminal charges. The trials and adversities of growing up are catalogued on his online blog. Carl’s initial desire to fit in at a new school is challenged by his own insecurities. When he finally makes friends with a kid named Dex, his troubles seem to have ended. Typical teenage angst is multiplied when the expected birth of a sibling turns tragic, leaving Carl heartbroken and confused. A callous teacher pushes Carl into an emotional corner, and his outburst results in suspension from school and criminal charges.
Facing another regular day of junior high school is more than enough for anyone. Carl has to live through not only adolescence, but circumstances that could land him in a juvenile detention center without his family and friends. With so many authority figures assuming that he is dangerous and threatening, Carl has to decide for himself if he truly believes what everyone is telling him. The friends he makes and the support from his parents might be the only things that help him survive.
His emotions are honest, his online confessions are genuine and heartbreaking, and his fear of what the next day brings will make even older readers wonder how they survived junior high school.
This book is for ages 12-14. Many boys will identify with this cutting-edge theme. Congrats to Todd Noker and Zack Shutt for their vision and commitment to bring a rare and raw story to life for reluctant male readers. Click here for some cool Facebook info from Todd and Zack.