How hard is it to not get kicked out of private school? Sophomore Jon Matthew finds out fast in this hysterical novel by award-winning author Tom Leveen.
Extremely intelligent and hopelessly attention-deficit Jon got suspended from his school for smoking pot on campus. His parents decide he needs more discipline and enroll him at Christ Lutheran Academy. To be fair, Jon does have a choice: He can instead be sent to a bad-kid boot camp in the deserts of Utah. He chooses the academy. But only under protest, he points out.
[You’ll find he points a lot of things out.]
Bristling under the relentless scrutiny of the principal and the other uptight teachers, Jon manages to pull together a loose coalition of allies to help keep him from getting expelled: Molly, a goth-at-heart loner burdened by a tragic event in her past; Bill, who has an epic crush on Molly but doesn’t know how to talk to her; and Lauren, the girl who Jon will do anything for, but who is herself trying to become a Cool Kid instead of seeing the real friendships she already has.
Slowly realizing his old stoner buddies aren’t quite as fun as he remembered, Jon grows closer to his new friends as they unite against a tyrannical and hopelessly out-of-touch school staff. When Jon discovers his parents can’t actually afford the boot camp, he’s faced with a choice: Raise total hell at CLA to get himself kicked out and return to his old school . . . or buckle down, bite his tongue, and stay close to his new friends.
On the verge of making his choice, Jon tragically loses one of the people he loves most, which would seem to make his decision to go or stay at CLA a no-brainer. Very often, though, the head and the heart – and, hell, maybe God too – have very different ideas about the future.
A LITTLE INSURRECTION NOW & THEN will – underscore will – upset certain readers as it looks at modern American Christianity through the eyes of a kid who uses biting humor to navigate teenage anxieties about friends, sex, death, and God. But it also does what this author does best: Tell the truth about adolescence with gripping dialogue and wholly realistic characters.
[And it’s seriously funny.]
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