Monday, September 15, 2014

Phoenix Island by John Dixon

When a high school boy tells me he read a great book, I always want to read it for myself. The kid who told me about this one has never steered me wrong, so I grabbed it right away. He was right. This book was violent and horrifying and perfect for readers who like action and adventure, with a touch of science fiction thrown in. It's about a Carl Freeman, a 16-year-old who is sentenced to a military-style boot camp for teenagers who have broken the law. Carl's problem is his temper. When he sees a bully in action he fights back, and even though he is usually protecting someone helpless, he causes a lot of damage. Carl is also an orphan, so when he is sent to Phoenix Island, he has no family to wonder where he went. What he finds on Phoenix Island is a cruel, physically violent book camp where kids are bullied, tortured, and maybe even killed. Carl, a champion boxer, eventually fights back but he is up against a powerful system that goes far beyond Phoenix Island. Be warned—this book has numerous graphically violent fight scenes so it's recommended for 9th grade-up.

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