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Up close, her eyes are pale blue. Sled-dog eyes. "So…" I feel off balance all of a sudden. "I was just wondering…"
"Wondering's good." She's holding a stack of papers, and she peels one off to hand to me. Lime green. Two identical buildings are roughly sketched on it and underneath, in all caps, it says: HIGH SCHOOL. JAIL. CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

For Dante, high school is Hell. She hates her new home in the suburbs, her only friend has ...

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Up close, her eyes are pale blue. Sled-dog eyes. "So…" I feel off balance all of a sudden. "I was just wondering…"
"Wondering's good." She's holding a stack of papers, and she peels one off to hand to me. Lime green. Two identical buildings are roughly sketched on it and underneath, in all caps, it says: HIGH SCHOOL. JAIL. CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE?

For Dante, high school is Hell. She hates her new home in the suburbs, her only friend has moved away, her homeroom teacher mocks her and her mother is making her attend a social skills group for teenage girls. When a stranger shows up at school and hands Dante a flyer that reads: WOOF, WOOF. YOU ARE NOT A DOG. WHY ARE YOU GOING TO OBEDIENCE SCHOOL? Dante thinks she's found a soul mate. Someone who understands. Someone else who wants to make real changes in the world. But there are all kinds of ways of bringing about change…and some are more dangerous than others.

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Editorial Reviews

What If? Magazine
"The clear and thoughtful discussions between characters make the plot meaningful and intriguing...A fantastic read for teenagers or adults. Inferno is an inspiring book that motivates readers to stand up for what they believe in, take risks, and dream big."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"Teens will identify with the plot which is full of rebellion and reaction to the "Life is not fair!" mantra that the characters convey through actions and events."
Resource Links
"An exceptional book that captures the angst and ennui of the teenager that just does not fit well into any group...A well written novel that had me gripped to the final page. Highly recommended."
Quill & Quire
"Stevenson's writing is sharp and her plot tidy and briskly paced, making for a quick, engaging read. Even her integration of the tough themes of relationship abuse and the alienation of queer teens is seamless—not to mention free of heavy-handed lessons."
"Stevenson creates a compelling portrait of autonomy vs. conformity...Dante's sexuality is refreshingly not a problem, just a fact of life. Readers will recognize themselves and many of their peers in Stevenson's complex, likeable characters."
January Magazine
"[Stevenson] does a terrific job, capturing the impossibly large emotion and the power that propels teenage girls...This is skillful writing featuring a strong female protagonist. A good story well told."
Elisabeth Abarbanel
"If you are a librarian serving teenagers, you should have this book in your collection. It seems so many good books about gay themes are about boys—this has a wonderful female lead. Dante is strong, smart, and has integrity."
Children's Literature - Pat Trattles
Dante is a city girl at heart. She hates living in the "burbs" with their cookie cutter houses and precisely manicured lawns. And do not even get her started on her high school, which feels like the set of a Hollywood movie with everyone playing his or her role in the appropriate stereotypical clique. Last year her soul mate Beth made it tolerable but Beth has moved away and Dante must face her junior year alone. With one look at her class schedule she realizes that will be no easy task. Mr. Lawson, the English teacher who gave her so much grief last year, is teaching her eleventh grade English class, and worse yet, he is also her homeroom teacher. No doubt about it, junior year is going to be hell on earth. Then Dante meets Parker, a strange girl who hands her a flyer saying, "Woof, woof. You are not a dog. Why are you going to obedience school?" Like Dante, Parker does not fit into the typical suburban high school scene (in fact Parker is a high school dropout) and the two soon become fast friends. Along the way Dante is introduced to a whole new world, must make some tough decisions, and learns to accept herself for who she is, not what others want her to be. Dealing with issues of dangerous choices, nonconformity, and sexuality, this well written book is a sure contender to join the ranks of quality fiction on banned and challenged book lists across the country. Reviewer: Pat Trattles
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554690770
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2009
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 1,212,815
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Stevenson is the author of more than a dozen books for children and teens. She has always loved reading and still finds it almost impossible to walk past a library or bookstore without going inside. Robin spends most of her time writing, hanging out with her homeschooled son, and teaching creative writing to adults, teens and kids. She lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her family. For more information, visit Robin loves to hear from readers—and she always writes back.
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Read an Excerpt

Sitting at my desk is torture. I wonder what circle of hell this is and what I did to deserve it. Mr. Lawson drones on and on. I have restless legs. My knee bounces up and down like crazy, like there's too much energy inside me and stray sparks are shooting off everywhere, twitching my muscles. I feel bored and restless and impatient. I want something to happen.

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Customer Reviews

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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