Going Undergroundby Susan Vaught
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Del is a good kid who's been caught in horrible circumstances. When we meet him, he is 17, trying to put his life together after an incident in his past that made him a social outcast - and a felon. As a result, he can't get into college; the only job he can get is digging graves; and when he finally meets a girl he might fall in love with, there's a whole sea of complications that threaten to bring the world crashing down around him again.
But what has Del done? In flashbacks to Del's 14th year, we slowly learn the truth: his girlfriend texted him a revealing photo of herself, a teacher confiscated his phone, and soon the police were involved.
Basing her story on real-life cases of teens being charged with sex crimes for texting explicit photos, Susan Vaught has created a moving portrait of an immensely likable young character caught up in a highly controversial legal scenario.
Del, 17, high-school senior, convicted felon and registered sex offender for three years, keeps his head down at school, digs graves part-time and stays numb with the help of his iPod playlists.
The only child of loving parents, Del has a therapist, probation officer, parrot, one friend, an unwelcome admirer and no prospects. Through flashbacks, Del unfolds the story surrounding his "crime," the event that's derailed his life (even community colleges won't let him apply). When the pretty girl he's noticed visiting the cemetery introduces herself, their mutual attraction helps him acknowledge his repressed feelings, rekindling his hope for a future. Vaught, a practicing psychiatrist, knows her territory and portrays the senselessly harsh consequences of criminalizing normal behavior in lucid, convincing detail. She weakens her case by making white, middle-class Del a paragon: thoughtful, smart, handsome, kind, mature and good with parrots—he has assets and support most teens in trouble can only dream of. This miscarriage of justice hasn't changed him, just his interactions with the world. Teens lacking Del's personal and material resources face more daunting obstacles.
A valuable look at the downside of prosecutorial discretion and its impact on teens, but Del's privileged background and saintly character won't reflect many readers' experiences. (Fiction. 14 & up)
- Bloomsbury USA
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 1 MB
- Age Range:
- 14 Years
Meet the Author
Susan Vaught is the author of My Big Fat Manifesto, Trigger, Exposed, and other novels, as well as Oathbreaker, which she coauthored with her son JB Redmond. She is also a practicing psychiatrist.
Susan Vaught is the author of My Big Fat Manifesto, Trigger, Exposed, and other novels, as well as Oathbreaker, which she coauthored with her son, JB Redmond. She is also a practicing psychiatrist. www.susanvaught.com
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I have this book at my school and i checked it out id rather get it at the libary than read it on my nook .