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.
Randomly bought this for myself, but the kids caught a few minutes of it and I ended up having to start again from the beginning. About as many cuss words as they'd hear in school, so didn't sweat it too much. And it was totally worth their reactions and inspiration for discussion that followed. A great story to listen to with kids about bullying, and so well-done and well-written that I feel they really experienced the intense emotions and pondered the difficult decisions that the main character faced. Much better tool to teach the consequences of decisions than any anti-bullying pamphlet or lecture at school. The author really made us feel as uncomfortable, angry and torn as her characters -- which is the best lesson possible.
Well worth considering alongside Morton Rhue's The Wave.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content