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THE NEW RULES OF HIGH SCHOOL by Blake Nelson

THE NEW RULES OF HIGH SCHOOL

By Blake Nelson

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-670-03644-7
Publisher: Viking

Narrator Max Caldwell is editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and in his account of his last year in high school, his voice sounds appropriately like a journalist. He reports on what he does and who he encounters, leaving it to the reader to piece together why Max is sabotaging his own success. Dropping his “perfect” girlfriend, jeopardizing his closest friendship, and drinking too much are a few of the ways Max copes with his demanding family life and Ivy League goals. Nelson skillfully reveals Max’s character and problems in “show-don’t-tell” style, painting a convincing portrait of suburban high-school students and their social and sexual concerns. Even secondary characters like Max’s younger sister have a realistic complexity. Readers will recognize, if not themselves, fellow students like Max who lose their bearings while trying to fulfill everyone else’s expectations. (Fiction. YA)