Let me start by saying that this book is aimed at the young adult (YA) that this book is aimed at the young adult market, but, like many YA books, this can easily cross over to the adult market too.
The book follows the story of Valerie, who following an evening meal of veal, is made aware of the way in which meat is reared for human consumption. A week later at a school assembly, the `inspirational person' is a animal rights activist, who awakens a number of students to some of the issues championed by `PAW' - the organisation the activist is linked to.
For animal lovers, this book will be difficult to read in parts - and I openly admit that some sections I skim read, as I find the mis-treatment of animals difficult to read about. But it's important to set the context in which Valerie and her friends are living in.
This book isn't solely about animal rights, although it is clear from Burke's knowledge on the subject that she is passionate about the issues, but it is also about the challenges that face teenagers; peer pressure, parental expectations and `boys'. The politics of local schools also interplays in this story too.
What Burke does excellently is to portray a sensitive and political issue in a good way, but also using the characters in order to show how peer pressure and ignorance can be overcome, and that, actually if you stand for nothing, you'll fall for anything.
This book will be of particular interest I suspect to those YAs that feel sidelined by their friends as they grow up and take divergent interests and also to those animal rights organisations who are seeking to awaken an awareness in YAs; Burke does so in a nice, easy non threatening manner and her books are a joy to read.
Teenage animal lovers and veg*ns should not miss fine YA novel. I only regret that it is available only as an e-book, as I would have liked to have purchased it for my library.
Set in 1991, Ahimsa Club is the story of high school student Valerie, her best friend Angie, and a life-changing school assembly. After viewing a slideshow hosted by plucky British activist April Kirk (no big mystery whom she is based upon), the previously unaware Valerie must face some unpleasant facts about how her food reaches her plate. She decides to become a vegetarian and form an animal advocacy club at her school.
Val experiences the highs and lows that will be instantly recognizable to any young person who has taken up a cause.