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Thursday, January 27, 2011

PATCH: Assumption is a Crime

Assumption is a Crime...

This is a story about bullying.   This is a story where the morals of rules and discipline are martyred by the tainting control of power.

What I like about this YA fiction is that it is based loosely on the personal experiences of the author.

To quote the author, Mucheru Njaga, "My goal is to shed light on the growing epidemic of teenage bullying....Abuse of power can shape the very fabric of society of left unchecked."

A little about the story, in the beginning:

Prince of Wales Boarding School for boys, was responsible for turning young boys into gentlemen, businessmen, educated men of power and authority.  Men who would participate in world government.

Gabriel, a freshman in high school, had lost his mother in fatal car accident.  He grew up in a lifetime of beatings from an alcoholic father.  A father who considered Gabriel useless, and told him so quite often.

However, Gabriel holds strong to maintain his strength and moral values even when bullied in school.  His principal sees an internal strength in Gabriel; even though Gabriel is in the Principal's office because of a fight.  Though physically damaging to another student, it was self-defense.  Fight back or be beaten.   Seeing merit in the young boy, the Principal offers Gabriel a rare opportunity to attend Prince of Wales Boarding school -- the school for the elite, the wealthy, the powerful.

From the outside, Prince of Wales promises a chance at a new life.  But once the reception has ended and the parents have cleared the campus we find that Prince of Wales is not what it seems to be.  The Dean empowers the seniors, the Prefects, to self-govern the rest of the student body.   And, they rule with threats and abuse in an effort to break the underclassmen; making them understand 'the system' to be later groomed for their rein one day as Prefects.

The Prefects abuse their authority, they disrespect the underclassmen and when someone fails at his duties there is severe punishment enforced.  Punishment that can end in permanent injury or even death.

I don't want to give away too much of this story.  What I've shared above is just the beginning.  It is a story of totalitarianism.  It is a story of the many being ruled by and abused by the few.  It is a story where one boy, Gabriel, sees the wrong and unfairness of this rulership, and his strength -- even though experiencing the physical abuse for holding strong to his beliefs -- rallies the freshman and the school to stand up for themselves.

This is a great Young Adult book for kids in middle school through high school. This would be a good book for teachers to have on their required reading list.  This is a book that opens discussions about the abuse of power and the impact of bullying, as well as how to break the cycle.

The end of this story tugged at my heart.  A lesson was well learned.  Changes were eventually made as the Prefects, well some, began to see the error of their ways. But at what loss?  A great loss. A great loss that brought about great change.

I do believe the wonderful people at phenix & phenix literary publicists are allowing me to offer three copies as  giveaways. YAY! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I'm going to keep this giveaway open until Friday, February 18th, 2011; to close at midnight CST.  I'm giving it a month because I really want to share this book and I am hoping all of you will help me.  We all know about the bullying in the media; and, the bullying that doesn't make it to the media.

If you know someone being bullied, or a school with issues, or have a child being bullied then you know the importance of this.  Encourage your children's teachers to enter to win a copy for their class.  Encourage friends and family, the Sunday school teacher.

To enter all you have to do is comment about my review, the book and/or about your thoughts or experiences with bullying.  Be sure I have a way to follow you back to your blog or your email address to contact you if you win.  THREE winners will be selected by a random drawing, the old fashioned way (paper slips in a hat). :-)



Maria Hart said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Thank you so much for your comment Maria. You will see a post here and there where I make a gripe at the world. But, basically I try to count my blessings and not my troubles.

I always find I have good things in my life. :-) Welcome to the Happier side of life and good luck with your optimism and positivity!

Melissa said...

Please enter my name in the drawing!

Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Thanks Lis, you are in!!!

Baseball Mom said...

Glad I came to double check. I thought I had entered. Please do so.

After everything that has happen the last couple months at school, I think I would really benefit from this book.

Thanks FW for hosting this giveaway.

Farmer*swife a/k/a Glass_Half_Full said...

Thanks for entering BBMom! And, I know what you've been going through and dealing with. Such a ridiculous, stupid, cr@ppy mess -- with the kid and the adults! Grrrrr.....

Dana said...

I'm one of those lurkers (I know ... I know ...) but had to expose myself for this one. Good to see a book for boys - and about boys - of this age, and since I have one of those boys :)