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Tradition Hardcover – May 1, 2018

3.8 out of 5 stars 21 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—Traditions at Fullbrook Academy: seniors escort freshmen to the Winter Ball; hockey players stack a puck in their window for each sexual conquest; and rich kids rule. Jules Devereaux is in her final year at Fullbrook and she is done with ex-boyfriends, friends, and the insidious privilege of her exclusive boarding school. James Baxter is on a hockey scholarship, a "do-over" after a disaster, trying to do the next right thing, attempting to keep a low profile because of his past. The main characters' inner lives are complex. Readers see James resisting the temptation of the pro-sports culture in the institution by refusing to take part in disturbing traditions. They also see Jules, steadfast in getting through to college, high performing one moment and confused the next about a nonconsensual sexual encounter. Boarding school is portrayed as a bastion of debauchery where no one is safe, but parallel characters form a diversified background to the story's major players and contribute to an uplifting apex. Kiely's treatment of sex, love, and friendship is thoughtful and relatable in spite of the backdrop, and the story ultimately delivers an enlightening message on consent. VERDICT A story that belongs in every library.—Deidre Winterhalter, Oak Park Public Library, IL


Tradition is a deeply felt, powerful, devastating and, ultimately, hopeful look at toxic rape culture and its destructive effects.”  --Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star

"Powerful and necessary, Brendan Kiely bravely takes on class, privilege, and injustice in this layered, authentic story about friendship and finding the courage to stand up for what is right—Tradition is an important, timely book that will empower young men to rise up against misogyny and rape culture."  --Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be

"Tradition is a startling portrait of privilege and rape culture, but it is also ultimately a book about resistance and hope, the power of friendship to embolden our integrity, and the courage to do the right thing even when everyone else seems to be doing wrong." --Amy Reed, author of The Nowhere Girls

Tradition is a stunning, timely, and deeply poignant novel about the culture of sexual violence. Sure to spark necessary conversations, this is 2018's must-read young adult novel.” --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces

"Tradition isn't so much a book as it is an invitation and a promise. An invitation to stand up for ourselves and for what's right, and a promise that if we stand, we won't do so alone.  Beautifully written with Brendan's wit and compassion, this book is a must read for all those hopeful for a better world." --Shaun David Hutchinson, author of the Florida Book Awards' Gold Medal and ALA's 2015 Rainbow Book List novel, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.

"Brendan Kiely’s Tradition is a searing literary call-to-arms in the most powerful and just sense: it takes a sledgehammer to our rotten, dangerous, and deeply ingrained traditions, so that we can build something new and beautiful in their place." --Jeff Zentner, author of the William C. Morris Award winning and Carnegie Medal longlisted The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

“The novel not only takes on rape culture within educational institutions, but condemns just about every sexist ideal we’re taught to accept”, Culturess

* "A story that belongs in every library.", School Library Journal, starred review

* “There is no doubt: this is an important book that all young adults should read.”, VOYA, starred review

“Kiely bravely explores rape culture and how it intersects with class and privilege… readers will find themselves rooting for the world not as it is, but as it might yet be.” – Booklist 

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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5
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Reviewed in the United States on May 14, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not my usual genre - but powerful stuff.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 28, 2018
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4.0 out of 5 stars Had a wonderful experience reading it ..
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