From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up—Mauricio Londoño, the child of immigrant parents, didn't know what he was getting into when he entered the hallowed halls of St. Stephen's, the premier all-boys school in New York City, as a freshman. Though shy and uncertain in the classroom, he's befriended by nerdy Alexander and wealthy, brilliant Henry, who help him navigate his new, confusing environs. But it's Zimmer, the guy who comes into class alternately hungover and decked out in bling, who confuses Mauricio the most. Seemingly despised by everyone at school, Zimmer's FaceSpace friend list nevertheless numbers in the hundreds and includes the very people who hate him. It's when a case of cyberbullying meets the moneyed that things get messy, and Mauricio finds himself caught in the middle, struggling to understand whom to trust. A more literary counterpart to Cecily von Ziegesar's "Gossip Girl" series (Little, Brown), Initiation
pays careful attention to the greater spectrum of students attending prestigious prep schools without playing to stereotypes. A supporting cast of female characters adds depth to the story; there's Henry's beautiful twin sister who piques Mauricio's interest in spite of their differences and a tough but inspiring English teacher. With a pitch-perfect teenage voice, alternating between poignant realizations and descriptions of bodily functions, Fine has crafted a book that has wide appeal for both genders.—Jennifer Barnes, Homewood Library, IL
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About the Author
After many years in New York City, Susan Fine said goodbye to Zabar’s and Grey’s Papaya in search of an affordable apartment. She, her husband, their two young boys, and 10,000 pieces of Lego landed in Chicago, where they love everything except the weather. When she isn’t reading The Dangerous Book for Boys, she’s working on her second novel. A former English teacher, Susan can still hear a me/I error from about a mile away. For assistance with sorting out the me/I conundrum, check out pages 110-113 in her first book Zen in the Art of the SAT.