Author: Robison Wells
Teen Fiction
My Recommended Age: 13 and Up

Maxfield Academy is the school of 17-year old, Benson Fisher's, dreams.  Having bounced around foster homes and public schools for many years, Benson is anxious to try out for school sports and make some real friends.  But when he arrives and realizes that it is not a private school but a prison surrounded by a large cement wall his hopes for a new life are crushed.   Now, he must find a way into a gang and out of the school without endangering himself or anyone else.

Named by Publisher's Weekly as a Young Adult Best Book of 2011, this book does a great job of bringing the reader into the story right from the beginning.  The book was enjoyable but definitely picked up a violent overtone as the chapters progressed.  There were some extremely violent scenes with some descriptions that made me a bit uneasy.  In addition to the violence, there was some hand holding and kissing but nothing more than that.  There is brief language which will probably be missed by most kids, but it is still there.  

Because at first glance the book seemed to fit into the Dystopian Society mold, I was a bit surprised that my library classified it as science fiction and not Dystopian.   From everything that I had read on the Internet, I assumed that this must be a mistake.  Alas, the library was not mistaken and the book definitely took on a Science Fiction feel.  So, if you or your teen does not like sci-fi, perhaps this is a good one to skip.

Happy Reading

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