Monday, March 1, 2010

BOOT CAMP


BOOT CAMP
by Todd Strasser
2007
235 pages
From Inside Cover:
In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent here, but Garrett knows he doesn't. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won't be allowed to leave until he's admitted his "mistakes" and conformed to Harmony Lake's standards of behavior. And there's no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett's spirit is slowly ebbing away. Then he hears whispers of an escape plot. It's incredibly risky-if he's caught, the consequences will be unthinkable-but it may be his only way out.
Wow! I could not put this book down! From the first page where Garrett is being transported to Harmony Lakes by two people that have kidnapped him in the middle of the night from his own house-with his parent's permission.
I was dying to know the reason his parents had decided this teen was out of control. Page after page the truth finally unfolds. It left me feeling on the fence. I myself would be horrified if my son did what Garrett has. What parent wouldn't be? But Kid's Boot Camp is so extreme-the punishment hardly fits the crime.
What Garrett is put through in an effort to "break him" is heartbreaking. Harmony Lake of course justifies their actions by stating that they take bad kids, turn them around and produce the kids every parent wants or wishes them to be.
The ending is......
Let's just say that I immediately put the book down and starting researching Boot Camps for Kids-I needed more information. It's hard to believe that these places are for real. And that parents would be so desperate for help that they are willing to sign their children up for something like this. This is a disturbing and powerful story. I would definitley like to read something else by this author.
I recommend this book for ages 12 and up. It is availabe for check out at the Salmon Public Library.

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