Watching this, Justin would gladly stay as far from the newcomer as possible, until their economics teacher pairs them for a project and he finds himself becoming fascinated by the kid the others mock as "Buddha Boy". The thing is, friendship with an outcast always carries a price, and soon Justin must decide if he can stay silent in the face of what he knows.
A scorching portrait of contemporary high school life, featuring a character listeners will never forget.
©2003 Kathe Koja; (P)2004 Full Cast Audio
Audie Award Winner, Audio Drama, 2005
"Koja accomplishes quite a feat...A compelling introduction to Buddhism and a credible portrait of how true friendship brings out the best in people." (Publishers Weekly)
"Buddha Boy has a whole lot of action compressed into a short time span, but Koja admirably refuses to yield to melodramatic writing or black-and-white solutions. Quickly paced, inviting, and eye-opening, this is a marvelous addition to YA literature." (School Library Journal)
The blurb for this book makes it sound like a story of ostracism in high school, but the characters are cardboard-flat. It's more of a preachy spiritual trip for the author than a story. There's no reason for the narrator to befriend the school outcast (who is a Christian-raised white boy trying to be a Buddhist monk). The narrator's friends are bratty and too obviously shallow. The school bully is a stock stereotype who does all the predictable bully things. I got about halfway through this audiobook and quit.
Well worth considering alongside Morton Rhue's The Wave.
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