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by Pete Hautman

Published by Simon & Schuster, 2006
249 pages
ISBN: 0689868014

Age 12 and older

Sometime in the not-so-distant future, The United Safer States of America imprisons twenty-four percent of its population for breaking any number of laws, including Road Rage, saying mean things to others, and drinking alcohol. Bo Marsden has had a history of anger management ďissuesĒ and has landed himself in a work camp, where he makes frozen pizzas. The campís warden has a great deal of nostalgia for the old days when football was still legal, and Bo manages to get on the prison team. For the first time in his life, he is allowed to run without wearing safety padding and a helmet, just like his grandpa used to do. Itís terrifying, and itís liberating . . . sort of. To be truly free, Bo needs to break out of the confines of camp, and, more important, the confines of his own mind. As often as he has found himself in trouble for violating the laws, itís never occurred to Bo that there might be something wrong with the reasoning behind them. In a hilarious satire, Pete Hautman imagines a world where safety and conformity are more important than liberty and creativity.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center

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