Thursday, May 31, 2007


RASH by Pete Hautman (Simon & Schuster, c2006, ISBN 0-689-86801-4) was one of my most current reads and a fulfillment of my "MUST READ YOUNG ADULT FICTION" thingie that I've got going on.

In this book, in the United Safer States of America of the late twenty-first century, there is an obsession with safety and even "minor anti-social impulses" are criminal.

Bo Marsten is sentenced to work in a prison camp making pizzas for McDonald's after giving a rash to some schoolmates and fighting with a peer over a girl. It is here that he is recruited to play football, an illegal sport but one in which Bo is quite skilled. While in the Canadian tundra, at this camp surrounded by polar bears, Bo also begins to question the society in which he's been raised and finds that sometimes breaking the rules is necessary, especially living in a time where safety is more important than freedom.

The book begins:

Gramps, who was born in 1990, once told me that when he was my age the only way to wind up in prison in the USSA (back when it had only one S) was to steal something, kill somebody, or use illegal drugs.

I enjoyed this book and have added Hautman's book GODLESS to my to-be-read list. It's kind of a sports book with a football angle, a futuristic fantasy with the time thing and it smacks of HOLES by Louis Sachar (a book I read when it first came out!), whether intentional or not.

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