Monday, September 22, 2008

Children’s Books: Teen, Inc. by Stefan Petrucha

If Teen, Inc. isn’t turned into a movie, I’ll be very surprised. It reads like a number of films I have seen over the years, though it doesn’t end like them.

Jaiden Beale has been brought up by a corporation. His bedroom is a converted office. He eats in the cafeteria. A committee named him. Another committee oversees everything from his education to his social life. He even has to sit through a Powerpoint presentation on his dating options! He has lived this way since just after birth because a faulty piece of equipmment produced by the corporation killed his parents and the company sees it as the best way to avoid a lawsuit.

Jaiden wants to live a normal life. He has been allowed, recently, to attend a public school, where nobody knows who he is. He’s made a friend and he’s hoping to get a girlfriend, Jenny -- not one of those on the corporation’s list of possibles. But Jenny’s environmentalist father has uncovered something nasty for which the company may be responsible. What happens when the girl Jaiden cares about is part of a movement against the only family he has ever known?

I would have expected that the kids would have made the discovery in their science project rather than just having the father do it, but never mind. Stefan Petrucha’s Teen, Inc. is funny, gentle and charming and it at least avoids the kind of clichéd ending of the movies it resembles. Recommended for mid-teens.

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Blogger Carrie said...

Thanks for the tip! Can I borrow the book?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008 at 7:23:00 AM PDT  

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