Monday, August 8, 2011
High School Pick: Going Underground
by Susan Vaught
Available September 13, 2011
Compelling, edgy, and wrought with emotion, Going Underground will force readers to think about their actions on the Internet and using technology to send and receive pictures and media on their cell phones.
Del is an ordinary seventeen year old. He looks forward to college, he can't wait to find the right girl, he hangs out with his best friend Marvin, he escapes into music, and raises an African gray parrot named Fred. When he's not in school, Del works at his job--digging graves at the cemetary. It's not a job he would have normally dreamed of, but it's the only place he could get hired. You see, Del is a convicted felon. With a sex crime in his past, it's hard to convince anyone to hire him. Colleges won't even read his applications. Del has no future simply because of a mistake he made when he was just fourteen.
An overzealous district attorney pushed Del's conviction through the courts and the judge threw the toughest sentence at Del. He is on probation until eighteen, he is not to have access to the Internet or cell phones, he cannot get into trouble at school or anywhere else. Del has to "toe the line." When another student punches him, Del can't even fight back. He gets beaten up simply because he can't get any more charges against him.
One day, Del notices a "fairy" looking girl visiting the cemetary. He's interested but knows better than to approach a stranger. Del can't even date. He is unable to have a normal teen-age romance because of his past.
When judicial hearings are set up to review the Romeo and Juliet legislation, Del and his parents decide to testify. Because of his testimony, the laws are changed. No longer will a fourteen year old be considered a "sex offender" or rapist if both parties are the same age and willing participants.
Highly recommended grades 9-up. Mature situations.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this novel from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.