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  • Posted June 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    Ian and his friends have just received some shocking news from the principal, Mr. Roberts. At the weekly assembly, Mr. Roberts announces that starting in two weeks everyone in the school will be required to wear a school uniform.

    Shirts, ties, dress pants, skirts, all with a school crest will be the required attire. Some students simply take it in stride and carry on, but Ian watches as other students openly object. The punishment for not wearing the proper uniform is suspension.

    At first, Ian has mixed feelings. Uniforms are not the worst thing in the world. He can even understand the argument Mr. Roberts presents in favor of the change. However, Ian's feelings change when it is discovered that the company providing the uniforms uses sweatshop labor to create the clothes.

    In addition to being principal, Mr. Roberts teaches a class in social justice and has recently revealed the horrors of sweatshops. Ian doesn't understand how he can know about the abusive working conditions in these places and still encourage the requirement of these particular school uniforms.

    Author Eric Walters uses BRANDED to raise awareness of a terrible social issue. Sweatshops are the subject of news broadcasts and articles, but until the products of these companies touch us directly, we tend to turn a blind eye. Teens will be interested in watching Ian as he struggles to make sense of opposing views on the subject and how adults often preach one thing and then practice another.

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