Friday, January 3, 2014

Permanent Record by Leslie Stella

What is the deal with dysfunctional parents in teen literature? These aren't just parents who irritate their children by just being parents (by making them clean their room, for example). These are parents who actively work against their children or ignore their suffering.

For Badi, his parents want him to keep a low profile and get good grades so he can go to college. It has been a tough time since 9/11 to be Iranian. The torment drove Badi to unspeakable acts at his last school. So he now attends a private Catholic school with a new American name, Bud Hess.

Bud is not a bad kid; he's really not. He has anxiety which can cause severe panic attacks. The medication and therapy are supposed to help, but when people think he's a terrorist there's is only so much he can take. Bud just wants to be a normal teen.

He doesn't expect much from his new school until he meets Nikki, a rebellious girl who hates the jocks as much as he does. The jocks get all the attention and money being raised while other clubs are being eliminated. Anonymous letters start appearing in the school newspaper stating similar views. A lot of people point the finger at Bud.

As the bullying gets worse for Bud, he tries to hide it from everyone. His parents willingly accept his lies only wanting him to stay out of trouble. When some things are finally revealed, they are only disappointed in him rather than showing support.

Bud is dealing with complex issues that are not easily dealt with. Life is like sometimes. Issues that some may think are easy take much longer to sort through.

For more info, check out the author's site.

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