I hate the world and everything in it. And that includes me." Asked to write something for English class that expresses who he really is, 16-year-old Carson takes pleasure in blistering the page with
I hate the world and everything in it. And that includes me."
Asked to write something for English class that expresses who he really is, 16-year-old Carson takes pleasure in blistering the page with hate for everything in his life. Stuck in a private school for kids who have repeatedly flunked out elsewhere, Carson knows he's got nowhere lower to sink to. "Flunk Out Academy" is the last resort for Carson and his classmates, in a small town where its deeply troubled students are decidedly unwelcome.
Then Carson meets someone who is even less optimistic than he. Christine struggles to get by, living in a trailer by herself, abandoned by her mother and father, so desperate that she has become almost immune to the pain and loneliness.
Confronted by her deep sadness, Carson starts to care for her and she for him. Once focused on someone other than himself, he begins to notice the world around him and realize that there is beauty as well as hopelessness, love as well as hate. Together the two teenagers struggle to work out how they are going to live in an imperfect world. There are no easy happy endings, but somehow the journey eventually makes the pain worthwhile."
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"Author Lesley Choyce has filled his latest book with quirky yet complex characters, and his adept portrayal of one teen's inner struggles - struggles that are not fuelled by extreme poverty, abuse, or neglect or any other external provocations - is at once profound and utterly realistic. Carson's story of subtle growth and quiet transformation will resonate with a wide range off readers. It is a beautifully honest book tinged with sadness, but ultimately filled with optimism and hope."
— Atlantic Books Today
"Each character in Lesley Choyce's novel is clearly profiled and dons a prevalent issue facing today's teens. The reader is immediately drawn into the story with Carson's powerful essay depicting who he is and how he thinks. In first person, the story is both intriguing and revealing. The language is rough and the sex scene is quite sensationalized for two sixteen year olds. Otherwise, this paperback will be a favorite among young adults and earns itself a 5 rating."
— Lane Education Service District (5 out of 5 Stars)
Lesley Choyce once said that a voice in his head told him: "Write about what makes you feel the most uncomfortable." The author of 65 books for children, teens, and adults and a surfer, musician, publisher, broadcaster, Lesley Choyce is always a fresh voice, challenging his readers to explore new paths, try out different attitudes.
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ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards finalist (Juvenile Fiction category), 2007
Alberta Children's/Young Adult Book of the Year Nominee, 2008
White Pine nominee, 2008
CCBC's Best Books for Kids & Teens, 2008
Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award Nominee 2009