Happy New Year everyone.
I’m going to start 2012 off on kind of a dark note. It was pointed out to me some time ago that there are quite a few books for teens in which the main character is imprisoned against his or her will. While this isn’t a plot element that I would usually go for, I can definitely see the appeal of this type of story. Whether the protagonist has been unfairly imprisoned and seeks escape from his cruel captors or must find a measure of redemption after committing a serious offense, these novels provide a variety of interesting plot possibilities. Here are a few worth reading, including two with the same title. A word of warning though, these books are not for the faint of heart.
Boot Camp by Todd Strasser
At the request of his parents, Garrett is kidnapped in the middle of the night and taken to a boot camp for troubled teens. He experiences both psychological and physical torment from the counselors and other “campers” while plotting his escape. Strasser did an excellent job of making me root for the protagonist and hope that the antagonists get what is coming to them. But did they? You will have to read the book to find out.
Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers
Fourteen year-old Reese is sent to a juvenile detention center for stealing prescription drug pads and selling them to a drug dealer. Again, the system is brutal, but this time there will be no escape. Rather than beating you over the head with a cautionary message, the story makes you think about Reese’s situation and the path his life will take as he gets older.
Lockdown by Alexander Gordon Smith
After being framed for the murder of his best friend, Alex is sentenced to life in Furnace, an underground prison for minors. The prison and its residents are brutal and Alex seeks an escape, however unlikely that may seem. If you like thrillers with lots of action and mystery, then this one is for you. (First book in the Escape from Furnace series)
Variant by Robison Wells
Benson’s life is looking up after he is accepted to the Maxfield Academy. Unfortunately, he discovers that what the “school” is enclosed with razor wire and monitored by cameras. There are no adults present and the population is separated into gangs that maintain a tenuous peace. Another page-turner with mystery elements.
That’s it for this month. As I said, I picked a pretty dark topic this time around, so next post I’m going to go with something a little brighter: The End of the World!