RITES OF PASSAGE by Joy N. Hensley
Kirkus Star


Age Range: 14 - 18
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The absorbing story of the first girl to join a fictional military high school.

Sam comes from a thoroughly military family, her father a legendary colonel who has raised all his kids as though they were in boot camp. Sam faces worse than that when she enters the Denmark Military Academy on a dare. Her fellow “recruits” don’t want her there and remain determined to make her quit, and her squad leader, Cpl. Matthews, has apparently taken it upon himself to force her out. Even her own brother, the cadet colonel of the school, tells her to leave. Sam keeps up with most of the boys in their obstacle courses, marches and calisthenics, but when Matthews becomes increasingly abusive, as tough as she is, Sam struggles to hang on. Sam finds allies, especially in her drill sergeant, to whom she feels an enormous attraction. When she learns that a secret society lies behind the attacks against her, she fears for her life. Hensley keeps the tension high as she leads readers to anticipate the next attack on Sam. The narrative flows along terrifically as Sam courageously battles to make it even while the forces against her increase. The characters stand out as individual and real; readers will cheer Sam on throughout.

Absolutely compelling. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-229519-4
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: HarperTeen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2014


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