RASH by Pete Hautman


Age Range: 13 - 15
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In a cutting and comic gem, Bo Marsten is in trouble with the law: He’s insulted a classmate, neglected to take his anti-anger medication and gone running without kneepad liners (required to prevent chafing). In 2076, in the United Safer States of America, it’s illegal to do anything dangerous. Provoked by the smarmy rival for a girl’s affections, Bo commits crime after crime, culminating in an ineffectual and feeble fistfight. For such an outrageous offense, he’s exiled to juvenile prison. In a McDonald’s prison colony surrounded by man-eating polar bears, Bo assembles pizzas, while a surreal artificial intelligence named Bork tries to spring Bo from jail. But Bo’s prison experience has a different twist. The sadistic warden has a fetish for the illegal game of football, and the most athletic criminals get perks in return for playing the violent sport. If Bo manages to survive the bone-crushing football games, the homicidal warden and the hungry polar bears, he might just learn something. Bitingly funny and unexpectedly heartwarming, Bo’s coming-of-age is a winner. (Science fiction. 13-15)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-689-86801-4
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2006


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