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Inits Paperback – July 10, 2014
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Alex dreads his freshman year in small town Georgia where everyone is known by their initials rather than their names. His brother, RAS, a senior, is the high school's star quarterback, while he's a member of the school's marching band. When I read the first paragraph, I was plunged into memories of the line "One time, at band camp," but Alex takes his music seriously. In fact, being on the school band isn't his problem--it's PAT, the school bully, who goes out of his way to make Alex's life, and that of his best friend JAZ, miserable.
In her novel, K.C. not only examines the bully's behavior,but also delves into the attitudes of the adults who simply make things worse, not on purpose, but simply by being adults--a father and vice-principal who don't understand the complexities of being bullied, teachers who place Alex in situations where the bullying can only get worse, and a big brother and fellow classmate who think they're helping, but just mess things up more.
As Alex works through his freshman year, attempting to deal with all of his bully-related problems and hopes and dreams, everyone who's ever been the target of a bully will empathize. This is a great novel--well written with touches of pathos and humor, and a reminder to all to think twice before naming their children. Well done.