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BUSTED by Phil Bildner

BUSTED

By Phil Bildner

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Aug. 28th, 2007
ISBN: 978-1-4169-2424-1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Four connected stories about happenings at fictional Coldwater Creek High School may raise some adult eyebrows, but teens, especially reluctant readers, may think these guys have got it going on. During the annual ski trip, the cool crowd knows to take the batteries out of the hotel room’s smoke alarm before blazin’ a joint. Planning to get drunk and create party central, they have to outwit the faculty, especially see-all Principal Danzig. Rounding out the social wrongs are gambling, a bully terrorizing the entire school and lunchtime “Therapy” sessions of smoking pot in the parking lot. Danzig dominates the novel as a larger-than-life folk hero performing some over-the-top interventions. In places, voice transcripts and short sentences create a police procedural feel to the writing, but nailing teen-speak, including casual profanity, is the author’s strength. The work is a bit short on conflict resolution, and the busted teens too often fade from the pages leaving readers wondering of their ultimate fates. However, this book has a place in public libraries serving teens with a reputation for partying. (Fiction. YA)