THREE DAYS OFF by Susie Morgenstern


Age Range: 14 & up
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Suspended for telling a teacher that he’d like to see what’s under her skirt, an apathetic teenager gets a wake-up call in this purposeful short novel. Used to drifting through existence on auto pilot, head down, William is as surprised as anyone is when he blurts out what he’s thinking. Serves Mademoiselle March right for getting on his case, he avows. But after three days of aimless drifting and salutary encounters with people who demonstrate some unappealing options for dropouts, he discovers that he does care about some things, and concludes that life (including school) is, after all, worth making an effort for. The story is set in an economically depressed French suburb, but Morgenstern adds universal teen appeal with sarcastic comments about the narrowness of William’s existence—“Boredom is so heavy to carry around”—and some mild sexual comedy on the third day, when he cluelessly decides to try getting laid. Every high school has its share of Williams, and though this isn’t likely to inspire many epiphanies, it may spark a bit of uneasiness in the more complacent versions. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-670-03511-4
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2001


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