Truancy

( 37 )

Overview

In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist, with the help of his Educators. Fighting against the Mayor and his repressive Educators is a group of former students called the Truancy, whose goal is to take down the system by any means possible—at any cost.

Against this backdrop, fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to survive. His days are filled with sadistic teachers, unrelenting schoolwork, and ...

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Truancy

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Overview

In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist, with the help of his Educators. Fighting against the Mayor and his repressive Educators is a group of former students called the Truancy, whose goal is to take down the system by any means possible—at any cost.

Against this backdrop, fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to survive. His days are filled with sadistic teachers, unrelenting schoolwork, and indifferent parents. Things start to look up when he meets Umasi, a mysterious boy who runs a lemonade stand in an uninhabited district.

Then someone close to Tack gets killed in the crossfire between the Educators and the Truants, and Tack swears vengeance. To achieve his purpose, he abandons his old life and joins the Truancy. There, he confronts Zyid, an enigmatic leader with his own plans for Tack. But Tack soon finds himself torn between his desire for vengeance and his growing sympathy for the Truants….

Isamu Fukui wrote Truancy during the summer of his fifteenth year. The author’s purpose is not just to entertain, but to make a statement about the futility of the endless cycle of violence in the world as well as the state of the educational system. And, as he put it, “I need to be in school myself if I want to write about it.”

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Editorial Reviews

Marlowe Brandt
Tack lives in a world where school is meant to control and stifle students, and he grows increasingly wary of the oppressive educational system. He shares his annoyance with only two people—his little sister, Suzie, and a mysterious boy named Umasi who doesn't go to school. Umasi tells Tack about a group of teens called the Truancy, whose members have decided to rise up against the Educators in an attempt to vanquish the school system. At first, Tack has no interest in joining a group committed to violence, but when the Truancy kills someone he loves as collateral damage, Tack joins the Truancy with the hope of finding and destroying its leader in an act of revenge. This novel expertly crafts a compelling commentary on contemporary education systems, and the adventurous teen will not be able to put it down. Reviewer: Marlowe Brandt
KLIATT
AGERANGE: Ages 12 to 18.

“Perfect control through education”: that’s the goal of a despotic Mayor who rules an unnamed City where students are punished for the least infraction. The “Zero Tolerance Policy” is taken to an extreme, enforced by armed Educators, and expelled students are executed. Naturally, repression breeds rebellion, and the Truancy, an underground armed revolt by teenagers, is trying to destroy the system. Fifteen-year-old Tack is just trying to make it through school, but when he meets Umasi, a mysterious boy who trains him in fighting skills, and then loses his sister in a violent attack by the Truancy, he runs off and joins the group, hoping to destroy it from within to avenge her. The Truancy is led by the charismatic Zyid, and Tack’s skills soon make him Zyid’s second-in-command. Gradually, however, Tack’s allegiance to the Truancy conflicts with his desire for vengeance for his sister’s death. Will he accept the Truancy’s cause as his own? Dedicated to “every student who has suffered in the name of education,” this astounding and action-packed novel by a 15-year-old New York City student is sure to appeal to adolescents everywhere with its theme of brave students vs. oppressive educators. It’s melodramatic, to say the least, but highly effective. With lots of violence, martial arts battles, and even a touch of romance, it’s sure to be a big hit, just the kind of subversive tale YAs recommend to each other. Reviewer: Paula Rohrlick
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)

VOYA
AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 18.

Fifteen-year-old Tack struggles to survive in a dystopian City where the Mayor and his band of goons, the Educators, rule with absolute power. Tack, his sister, and most other young people are locked into the deadly educational system where they are bullied by some of the most vicious and sadistic teachers in teen literature. Some former students, calling themselves the Truancy, have actually managed to get out. Under a charismatic leader, Zyid, these urban guerillas have pledged to bring down the system by any means, at any cost. Tack shuns both the Truancy and the Educators, until he meets a mysterious boy named Umasi in an abandoned part of the City. Umasi, equally skilled at gnomic utterances and deadly martial arts, becomes Tack's mentor and trainer. When Tack's sister becomes collateral damage in a firefight between Educators and Truants, he joins the Truancy, seeking revenge. Increasingly he finds himself torn between a thirst for vengeance and a growing sympathy for the guerillas. Fukui wrote his novel in just one month during his fifteenth summer. It is a big, raw, sprawling action film of a book, combining martial arts, street fighting, midnight raids, rooftop flights, and a high body count. Grammar and style are not priorities here; the sometimes clumsy and cliché-driven text may cry out for a strong-minded editor, but the intended audience will not care. Action rules, and teen boys will swallow this book at a gulp, demanding more. Reviewer: Jamie S. Hansen
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

School Library Journal

Gr 8-10- Tack, 15, lives in a dystopian society where a corrupt government oppresses its citizens, starting when they are students. A group of young resistance fighters called the Truancy violently strikes back against the system. Tack joins the movement after his sister is accidentally killed in a Truancy attack on a government official. His intention is to murder its leader in revenge, but he finds himself drawn into the group's philosophy and is torn between wanting to bring down the government or destroy the ferocious resistance. This hefty novel is not unlike an action movie or video game. It starts fast and barrels on with not one subtle moment. It is full of elaborate, graphic fights. The characters are amazingly skilled in a wide variety of unbelievable ways. Described as "kids" or "children," they are nonetheless portrayed as expert assassins, brilliant tacticians, even world-weary bartenders. Readers are beaten over the head with how evil the government is, how oppressed the students are, how unsympathetic adults are. According to the back cover, the author wrote the book "in one month the summer of his fifteenth year." He shows a lot of promise, but more experience, in life and in writing, might greatly improve his style. While Truancy may be popular with some readers who feel as though adults don't get them and school is oppressing them, it is a strictly additional purchase for robust SF collections.-Geri Diorio, The Ridgefield Library, CT

From the Publisher
Truancy is ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ for science fiction. Isamu Fukui delivers a well-written and passionate story somewhere between George Orwell and Pink Floyd. His school system gone mad is described with both wit and anger—as if he’s been there himself.”—Kevin J. Anderson, New York Times bestselling co-author of Hunters of Dune

“As much insightful social commentary as action-packed coming of age story. All in all, an impressive debut.” —Eric Van Lustbader, New York Times bestselling author of The Testament and The Bourne Legacy

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765322586
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 2/2/2010
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 541,776
  • Age range: 13 - 18 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.22 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

ISAMU FUKUI is a seventeen-year-old junior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City. Fukui first started writing for fun at the age of thirteen. The following year, he won a National Gold Award and a Regional Gold Key in the Science Fiction/Fantasy category of the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. He lives in New York, New York.

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Read an Excerpt


Truancy

By Fukui, Isamu Tor Teen
Copyright © 2008
Fukui, Isamu
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780765317674

Chapter 1
I hope that most of you will see this as a wake-up call,” Mrs. Bean announced to the class, folding her arms haughtily. “If you got over an eighty-five, you’ve done tolerably. If you got lower than that, you should be concerned. If you got below a seventy, I’m going to make you concerned.”
Tack gritted his teeth and clenched his test paper, wrinkling a good portion of it before he unceremoniously shoved the paper into his backpack along with his books and binder. Untamed brown strands of hair dropped in front of his eyes, obscuring his vision as he bent over to zip up his backpack and await the ending bell. Despite the cheerful sunlight streaming through the classroom’s single window, an unmistakable aura of gloom emanated from the students around him, which Tack actually found to be oddly comforting. It meant that he wasn’t the only one the teacher was going to “make concerned.”
“There are a lot of you who can do better,” Mrs. Bean continued, lifting her chin. “And there are a few who are beyond hope. If you don’t work your butt off and if you don’t follow instructions, that reflects on your tests. These test grades let me know how obedient you’ve all been. As you all know, that weighs heavily on your report card.”
“Guess that means I’m out of luck,” a boy to Tack’s right murmured tiredly under his breath.
“Hey, is that talking back there?” Mrs. Bean spunabout, glaring wildly around like a starved lioness with an appetite for students. Spotting Tack, who looked suspicious with his gritted teeth and packed bag, she quickly drew herself up into attack position.
“You of all people should be trying to do better!” she shouted, jabbing an accusing finger at Tack. “After your performance on this test I’d have thought you’d have learned to behave yourself!”
“M-me?” Tack sputtered haplessly.
At this point, Tack didn’t even want to know how the teacher could’ve made such a huge mistake at his expense so much as he wanted to know how this class could possibly have gone any worse than it already had.
“Yes, you!” Mrs. Bean hissed. “You know what you did; you don’t need anyone else to say it for you!”
“I didn’t do anything!” Tack protested.
“Are you talking back to me?” Mrs. Bean stalked closer to Tack, lowering her voice menacingly.
“N-no, but—”
“No buts, you need to learn some respect, young man!”
“I . . . I . . .”
Still recovering from this latest misfortune, Tack quickly assessed his options. The teacher looked ready to sink her teeth into him, and the only thing that could save him now would be to rat out the real culprit, who was currently doing his best not to look involved. But being a rat simply wasn’t an option; betraying a fellow student to a teacher would make Tack the enemy of all the other students. He simply couldn’t afford that, as all the teachers were already by nature his enemies.
And so there was only one way that Tack could finish his sentence.
“I . . . I’m sorry.”
Mrs. Bean purred contently. “Good. Now apologize to the class too. It was their time that you just wasted.”
Tack felt an urge to stand up and tell Mrs. Bean that she was the one wasting their time by making such a huge deal over something so petty. Fortunately for Tack, he was quickly able to suppress that urge.
“I’m sorry, class,” Tack mumbled, dropping his gaze.
“I don’t think they can hear you,” Mrs. Bean said.
“I said, ‘I’m sorry, class’!” Tack nearly yelled.
“Better,” Mrs. Bean said, resuming her prowl around the class.
Tack slumped in his chair, his stomach churning in humiliation and stress. The boy next to him, the real culprit, clapped him on the shoulder in a silent show of thanks, but Tack shrugged him off moodily. Eventually the bell rang, and the students began their silent mass exodus.
Tack stood up to join them, unconsciously tugging at the collar of his shirt. The gray school uniform felt annoyingly itchy and tight, no matter how many times he wore it. As he filed out of the classroom with the rest of the class, still adjusting his clothes, Tack couldn’t help but wonder if they had been designed to be as unpleasant as possible.
Tack joined the gray river of uniformed students flowing neatly up and down the hallways, his stomach quickly forgetting the stress of the classroom as it began growling, reminding him that he had at least one good thing to look forward to in the immediate future: lunch.
All students looked forward to lunch, even if they weren’t hungry. For one single period each day, students had permission to leave the school in search of nourishment and conversation, two luxuries that Tack noticed that adults of the City took for granted. Inside school no eating and no speaking were two rules that were rigidly enforced.
Of course, if any students displeased teachers, the teachers could revoke those students’ lunch privileges for as long as they liked. Tack was glad that Mrs. Bean hadn’t gone that far, at least.
“Hey, Tack!”
Tack froze in mid-step as the voice, barely a whisper, rose above the silent gray multitude that walked both around and into him. His heart racing frantically, Tack’s first instinct was to look around for any teachers that might have noticed a student speaking his name. When he found none, his second instinct was to look for who it was that had nearly given him a heart attack. Looking up the staircase he was about to climb, Tack saw a younger girl with brown pigtails looking down at him with a lopsided grin.
“Suzie, what do you think you’re doing?” Tack asked quietly, his face torn between worry and joy.
“Nothing much, Bro; Melissa is sick today, so I’ve got no one to eat lunch with,” Suzie whispered back, causing more than a few passing students to stare at her.
At that Tack smiled and nearly forgot about the trouble that his sister could land them both in by speaking. Suzie always ate lunch with her friends, so much so that she and Tack rarely ever saw each other except for the few hours that they spent at home.
“Wanna go grab something then?”
“Sure!” Suzie agreed so happily that Tack winced at how loud her voice had become.
A moment later, Suzie joined the flow of students descending the stairs, and together she and Tack made their way towards the lobby of the building. Much to Tack’s relief, Suzie refrained from speaking aloud the rest of the way. Soon after they reached the lobby they came into sight of the armed guards that were manning polished metal turnstiles with scanners that inspected the arms of each of the many students filing in and out. It was very fast, very quiet, very orderly, very clean, almost unsettlingly so.
As they approached the nearest turnstile, Tack and Suzie rolled up the sleeves of their uniforms to reveal the nine-digit numbers and bar codes that had been imprinted upon their arms when they had first entered the City school system. The guards seized their arms, scanned them to make sure that the children were indeed allowed to eat lunch, shot them a nasty look in case they were thinking of breaking any rules, and then released them and turned their attention towards the next students in line.
Having finally cleared that last, oppressive hurdle, Tack and Suzie burst out of the large double doors, just two more students enjoying the feeling of the relatively fresh air of the City streets. As they strode upon the hard gray sidewalks under the looming shadows of steel-and-glass skyscrapers, Tack let out a quiet sigh as he allowed the thoughts of his test, Mrs. Bean, school, and everything else that was wrong with the City to fade away.
“So what do you feel like eating today?” Tack asked. It felt a little odd to be able to use his voice again.
“I dunno; what’re you hungry for, Tacky?” Suzie inquired.
“I’m not sure either. Maybe we should just get pizza,” Tack suggested.
“That sounds good, Tacky.” Suzie grinned.
“Don’t call me that.” Tack scowled.
“But it fits you!” Suzie said, shoving Tack playfully.
“No, it doesn’t, and don’t call me that,” Tack said with mock annoyance, brushing her hand aside.
“You really are talky, Tacky.”
“I’ll poke you; I swear,” Tack threatened in exasperation.
“No, you won’t,” Suzie said matter-of-factly.
“Why not?” Tack demanded.
“Because I’d tell on you.” Suzie giggled.
“That’s just below the belt,” Tack complained.
The siblings laughed and continued to poke fun at each other until they reached their preferred pizza parlor. His stomach would have been just as satisfied at any of the other pizza places in the neighborhood, and while this one sported the typical yellow walls and dirty red floor tiles just like the rest, it always had plenty of seats available, as well as a large fan that kept the air circulating, along with a television hanging from the ceiling that was, unfortunately, always set to one of the City’s news channels rather than anything Tack would’ve preferred to watch.
The man at the counter eyed Tack and Suzie suspiciously, as if the gray-clad students were vagrants in disguise. It wasn’t uncommon for adults to treat students with suspicion, as each generation always accused the next of general disrespect and misbehavior. Tack thought that the generalization was somewhat unfair but didn’t let it bother him as he drew enough cash from out of his pocket to pay for two plain slices of pizza. The squinty-eyed cashier seized the money and spent a few moments satisfying himself that the students weren’t trying to rip him off. Meanwhile, the friendlier pizza maker, who seemed to recognize Tack and Suzie as regular customers, sliced up two pieces from a freshly baked pie and stuck them on a plate on a tray with a wink.
Tack grabbed the tray and led Suzie over to an empty plastic table. Tack’s stomach was no longer growling but rather roaring with discontent. Suzie obviously felt the same as Tack. Even as they sat down, Tack tore into his slice, grease cascading down his chin. A moment later, Suzie followed suit. As Tack’s stomach sated itself, he took the opportunity to concentrate on the broadcast that was blaring loudly from the television.
“Welcome back to CNC, the City News Channel,” the brown-haired anchorwoman droned. “Today the Educators denied all rumors of human error concerning last week’s catastrophic blackout, maintaining that the accident was solely the result of mechanical failure. This morning the Mayor himself issued a comment on the incident.”
The broadcast switched to the familiar face of the Mayor as he stood on the marble steps of City Hall, surrounded by a sea of microphones. It was a face that every citizen of the City knew, from his salt-and-pepper hair to his glittering dark eyes, and the exaggeratedly large smile that always seemed plastered on to his face.
“Thorough investigation has concluded from the start that, popular speculation notwithstanding, this accident was just that—an accident,” the Mayor said firmly. “Nothing has changed since. I promise you that measures are already being taken to prevent such an incident from occurring again. In the meantime, I urge every citizen of this City to do their part and work toward conserving electricity.”
The brief message concluded, the image changed to show a series of test tubes, followed by coughing patients in a hospital ward.
“In our top story today, a terrifying new disease epidemic has taken the City by storm.” The anchorwoman’s voice took on a dramatic tone. “The new RAS virus has already been blamed for at least one death, with forty-two confirmed cases. The virus is airborne, and the three-week incubation period has City scientists fearing that many more people might be carrying the disease right now without even knowing it. No vaccine yet exists, and today the Educators issued a written statement asking citizens to take measures to slow the projected spread of the disease. Suggested preventive measures include avoiding large crowds and public transportation, as well as using a protective mask to cover the mouth and nose.”
Tack stopped listening. Weird diseases were always ending up on the news, and while adults seemed to take the threats quite seriously, Tack figured that the lack of bodies dropping in the streets was a good sign. There were even times that he would have welcomed disease, in order to escape the torments of school, and he couldn’t imagine walking around all day with a rag strapped around his face.
Reaching for a nearby shaker, Tack poured large amounts of powdered garlic onto the remnants of his slice to make it taste less like boring routine and more worth the money he’d spent. Suzie, he noted with affection, had already garnished her slice with liberal amounts of both garlic and red pepper, and was busying herself by piling on green herbs.
As he resumed eating, Tack’s mind strayed to the Educators, idly wondering, and not for the first time, how they were chosen. The Educators essentially called all the shots in the City, and formed one of the two branches of its government. They made the City’s laws and formed its policies while their subordinate branch, the Enforcers, enforced them. Educators presided over all matters of government in the City, especially, as their title suggested, education.
The Educators appointed principals and teachers, and had final say in the fate of any lowly student. Of course, there were various ranks of Educators. Tack knew that his own father had once had a minor position with them, but neither father nor son really liked to talk about that. As a matter of fact, Tack and his father rarely talked at all, as one or the both of them were usually busy with either work or school.
Other than his father, the only other type of Educator that Tack had ever seen in person was the Disciplinary Officers. These were special Educators, the inspectors of schools, and the only ones who could deal out the most serious punishment of expulsion. If a Disciplinary Officer ever showed up in a school for any reason other than a scheduled inspection, every student would instantly understand that someone must’ve really done something.
“So, Bro,” Suzie said, finishing her slice and wiping her chin. “How’s your day going?”
“Eh . . . I’ve had better,” Tack admitted, choking down the last of his slice.
“What was it this time?” Suzie rolled her eyes.
“Science class. You know, with Mrs. Bean.” Tack grimaced.
Suzie nodded wisely. “Oh, her. I heard she’s awful.”
“That’s putting it lightly,” Tack said bitterly, wiping his mouth on the gray sleeve of his uniform.
“Yeah, well, what can ya do?” Suzie shrugged.
Tack raised an eyebrow. “Rhetorical question?”
“Duh.” Suzie rolled her eyes.
“Well, then we ought to be getting back to school before we’re late and make a few more teachers act awful,” Tack suggested, standing up.
“Don’t you have Mr. Kiner next?” Suzie asked.
“Don’t remind me,” Tack groaned.
“Hey, don’t sweat it, Bro; I heard he’s not so bad until he starts shouting.” Suzie elbowed Tack playfully.
“You hear a lot of things.” Tack ruffled Suzie’s hair.
Suzie grinned. “Yep.”
“A lot of those things are true,” Tack offered.
Suzie’s grin widened. “Yep.”
“We should still be getting back, you know,” Tack said.
“Yep.” Suzie’s grin was now roughly the size and shape of a watermelon.
“Oh come on, you.” Tack smiled in spite of himself, dragging Suzie along.
Tack and Suzie made their way back to the school, this time nagging at each other with each step upon the concrete. They drew close to the school, and quickly rejoined the herd of students marching back towards class. Reaching the doors, both siblings got in line and rolled up their sleeves, prepared to present their arms to the security guards. As they stepped into the queue, however, Tack and Suzie both hesitated briefly, knowing that they would now have to go their separate ways.
“Are you gonna be waiting for me today after school?” Suzie asked.
“You know I only have the time for that on Saturday,” Tack said apologetically.
“And today is Wednesday, yeah yeah.” Suzie’s frown deepened. “Why do I have to get out a period later than you?”
“Because you get to school a period later than I do,” Tack explained. “They have to make it equal, you know.”
“That was a rhetorical question too, you know,” Suzie teased as they drew closer to the glaring guards. “Anyway, Tacky, see ya later!”
Tack sighed as a guard seized his arm. “See you, Suzie.”
The rest of Tack’s classes passed by without much incident. After what had happened to him that morning, Tack took extra care to give his teachers no reason to focus their attentions on him. In math class, Mr. Kiner did throw a loud tantrum and call security upon finding two of his students exchanging notes in class, and his language teacher revoked the lunch privileges of a student who had spoken out of turn, but Tack wasn’t either of those unfortunate victims, and so he didn’t worry about any of it. One bad school experience a day was bad enough for him—and he hadn’t even deserved that one.
When the 3:00 bell finally rang, Tack wearily made his way towards the front entrance, presented his numbered arm to the guard, who scanned him and waved him through with a dismissive gesture. Tack walked along with the other gray-clad students, making his way down the dull paths of concrete and across wide lanes of asphalt until he finally reached the nearest entrance to the City’s underground subway. Making his way down the stairs that led into the station, Tack reached the turnstiles and allowed one to scan his bar code. Having confirmed that Tack was a student and wasn’t cutting class, the machine quickly allowed him to pass through with a curt beep. Another flight of stairs brought Tack into a filthy, cavernous area that constituted the subway platform.
As he stood patiently on the platform with other commuters, adults and students alike, Tack barely noted the earthshaking rumble of subway cars entering and leaving, but still managed to haul himself onto the appropriate train after it rumbled into the station and slid its doors open. Once inside, Tack sat down quietly with his eyes shut, the day’s weariness catching up to him and furiously bludgeoning him upside the head in the form of a throbbing headache.
Unconsciously, he scratched at the number scarred onto his arm, the one that he never looked at or bothered to memorize, feeling suddenly like there was something, something unidentifiably wrong with his life, something that he just couldn’t pin down.
At least, not for now. Copyright © 2008 by Isamu Fukui. All rights reserved.


Continues...


Excerpted from Truancy by Fukui, Isamu Copyright © 2008 by Fukui, Isamu. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 37 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 31, 2012

    HOLY #%$#!!!!`

    THIS BOOK ROCKED MY SOCKS SO HARD I CRIED WHEN I FINISHED IT BECUASE THERE WASN'T ANY MORE TO READ!!!
    I was in my PE class when I finally finished it during a "silent reading" session, and I wanted to ask my teacher to let me go outside so I could scream off the top of my lungs. THAT'S how freaking awsome this book is.
    My boyfriend was hearing about this book for a couple weeks, and I still am just overcome with the feeling of awesome every time I think of this book.
    This is NOT normally the type of book I would read, as it does go into very descriptive fighting scenes, BUT I was addicted, and read every last word anyways. I literally started to think like a truant, I swear this book is laced with poison that makes you FEEL like the characters because it is so well written.
    I cannot say enough good about this book.
    My #1 favorite book OF ALL TIME.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    Truancy

    To a school, truancy is a school's worst nightmare. In Truancy, by Isamu Fukui, it can also be a school's deadliest one. Isamu Fukui uses a 15 year old teenager to draw in readers and hook their interest. Fukui relates the main character to problems anyone could relate to, and he adds action and adventure along with personal conflict to keep a reader hooked to the end. Anyone within the age group of thirteen to seventeen would be interested with Truancy.
    The story is one full of action and adventure. Truancy is about a fifteen year old teenager named Tack. He lives in a place only known as the City. The school system, although unknown to him, is meant to demoralize and destabilize him until he is so worn down he is willing to obey. The school system was developed to create obedient citizens. But some kids were rebellious. A group called the Truancy, led by a mysterious boy Zyid, attacks and kills with cold efficiency. Although these attacks are obvious, the Mayor, leader of the City, keeps the attacks and the Truancy themselves secret. Tack loses a person close in his life during a Truancy assassination, and he runs off to join the Truancy to kill the person who killed the person in his life. The author stunningly uses personal problems with action thrown in at every turn. He presents the story through Tack, guiding us through his feelings as well as a hail of bullets.
    Truancy's characters revolve around the setting only known as the City. The City is the general location for the entire book. It is where the City Government, known as the Educators, and the police and military force, known as the Enforcers, are fighting the rebellion of the Truancy. Fukui uses local color and describes the City as just that, a city. A New York type place where the living districts are bustling, the abandoned ones are havens for vagrants, and children are considered to not be worth the time to look after. The characters in Truancy know the City as well as anyone. There is Tack, the protagonist who struggles with personal conflicts of mentor's teachings, conflicts over loyalties. The Mayor, who is the antagonist, is a person with a huge temper, rules with an iron fist, and fights the Truancy and all who stand for it. There is Umasi, Tack's friend, mentor and teacher, who is wise and skillful in body and mind, but exiles himself and chooses to be a pacifist. Zyid, the leader of the Truancy, is a cold-blooded killer and appears to have no emotions, heart, or conscience whatsoever. Standing beside Zyid is Noni, who owes her life to Zyid, but although she draws strength off of him, she appears just as cold-blooded as Zyid. Fukui describes these characters as they are introduced, and he uses their actions, not their words or thoughts, to form and shape them.
    So, Truancy by Isamu Fukui is an amazing book. Fukui develops his plot, setting, and characters masterfully, and uses many techniques to form his unique writing style. I would recommend this book definitely to teenagers, because it is a book that would capture their interests and still give them that feeling of not reading. Isamu Fukui takes the book and writes one so that only at every pause to turn the page do you realize that you are not in Tack's world, only reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2009

    TRUANCY Rocks

    I love this book i don't know why... Well anyways what a great book i just love how the truancy fights against the city it was a bit sad when_________ died because Tack got really sad.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2008

    Great Book People!

    Isamu Fukui's Truancy has brought sadness, happiness and laughter to my entire being. His writing may soon be compared with names such as Tolkien, Rowling and Richard Adams when it comes to fantasy writing. Isamu's first novel is a swift kick in the rump to the ordinary school system. It turns your perspective of the school system upside down and inside out. The story takes place in an alternate world, where a city's mayor holds a tight grip on its school system by controlling everything that happens within it. Those who oppose the mayor and his tyranny over the city and schools are a group of former students, expelled from the system, known as The Truancy. The story's main character is Tack, a 15-year-old boy who is overworked in school and at home. His days are bulging with 'slightly' evil teachers, bullies and parents who seem indifferent to him as their child. Tack then meets a mysterious boy running a lemonade stand in a deserted part of the city. He begins to look to the boy as a mentor and, more importantly, as a friend. But when Tack's sister is murdered before his own eyes, everything changes. Tack infiltrates The Truancy, and soon finds himself torn between his motives and his sympathy for the truants. Truancy was written in a month's time during a summer vacation when Fukui was 15. Now 16, he has won a National Gold Award and a Regional Gold Key for separate short stories in the science fiction/fantasy category of the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. It's two of many awards the teenage writer has won. This is an exquisite example of writing and knowledge of the English language. It makes you feel emotions along with the main character, as well as making you feel as if you could be there with all of them. It is a book that I would most likely read again. I reccomend this book to all young readers. It gives you a since of knowlodge that you dont get everyday.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2008

    Wow, What an Incredible Novel!!

    Unlike Eragon (another book written by a young writer)which ripped off every fantasy cliche it could, Truancy is TOTALLY original! Education as a mechanism for control and repression, with the iron fisted Mayor in charge and even a slight sign of resistance resulting in vagrancy leading to death. Exciting battles between Truants and the Educators, extremely interesting warrior traning, the quest for revenge, and even a delicate touch of romance...... Once I started to read, I couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting! I can't wait to read the sequel that the author says he has already written. One thing which worries me is this: Is the author on some kind of black list at his school? I understand he is at Stuyvesant HS. Without even finishing the book, the English teacher comes out here and trash it is beyond anybody's imagination. The mere fact that one of his students wrote 400 pages book and got it published should make any teacher proud, no? What kind of school is Stuyvesant? Scary! No wonder Truancy was written! I sincerely hope he is not in serious trouble in his school because of this great book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2008

    In Teen's Novel, School is Alternate reality

    I sit, smiling ear to ear, holding a book unlike any other. Isamu Fukui's Truancy has brought sadness, happiness and laughter to my entire being. His writing may soon be compared with names such as Tolkien, Rowling and Richard Adams when it comes to fantasy writing. Isamu's first novel is a swift kick in the rump to the ordinary school system. It turns your perspective of the school system upside down and inside out. The story takes place in an alternate world, where a city's mayor holds a tight grip on its school system by controlling everything that happens within it. Those who oppose the mayor and his tyranny over the city and schools are a group of former students, expelled from the system, known as The Truancy. The story's main character is Tack, a 15-year-old boy who is overworked in school and at home. His days are bulging with 'slightly' evil teachers, bullies and parents who seem indifferent to him as their child. Tack then meets a mysterious boy running a lemonade stand in a deserted part of the city. He begins to look to the boy as a mentor and, more importantly, as a friend. But when Tack's sister is murdered before his own eyes, everything changes. Tack infiltrates The Truancy, and soon finds himself torn between his motives and his sympathy for the truants. Truancy was written in a month's time during a summer vacation when Fukui was 15. Now 16, he has won a National Gold Award and a Regional Gold Key for separate short stories in the science fiction/fantasy category of the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition. It's two of many awards the teenage writer has won. This is an exquisite example of writing and knowledge of the English language. It makes you feel emotions along with the main character, as well as making you feel as if you could be there with all of them. It is a book that I would most likely read again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    superb thriller

    The Mayor rules the city through the subtle use of the Bureaucracy starting with students whose minds and behavior are shaped to the mayor¿s ideal of perfection. Every pupil is brainwashed until as adults they do the same things to their offspring who are students. This has led to a totalitarian society in which the Enforcers make sure the students follow the rules those who fail to conform are expelled to live as homeless waifs. One former student saw the Mayor, his Educators and the Enforcers as tyrants. He and other disenfranchised and disenchanted students formed the Truancy who chose to live in a free world. Fifteen years old Tack is stunned when the Truancy Leader Zyid kills his sister in what he calls ¿collateral damage¿ he vows to kill Zyid. He joins the Truancy in order to accomplish his quest and though he has chances he hesitates because without Zyid the Truancy, who is family to him, dies. Tack, Zyid and their enemy will soon confront each other with no telling who if any will walk away. --- Mindful of Huxley¿s Big Brother and Pink Floyd¿s ¿Another Brick in the Wall¿, Isamu Fukui shows what happens to a society when a dictatorship centrally controls the entire education process especially what is learned. Zyid may be a young teen, but he is a pragmatist who believes bloodshed must occur to bring fear into the hearts of the Mayor, the Educator and their inner circle in order to incite a rebellion. Tack is his opposite as an idealist willing to die for his beliefs, but preferring change without bloodshed.. Readers will be enthralled by this meaningful story focusing on the impact of corrupt leaders controlling all communication starting when the citizens are young pupils. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2013

    Great

    This book is definitly a solid 9 out of 10. Entertaining read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2012

    Great

    Great overall book, its crazy watching tack's character change over time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    possably one of the best books I have ever read

    Isamu Fukui is a genius.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    I love this book!

    This book is so good that you can't let go of it even your eyes hurt.
    I can't wait for the 3rd book.
    This book has everything that you want to read.

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  • Posted September 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My new favorite book!

    I was surprised i liked this book so much. at first i was kinda hesitant b/c i though it would be super super violent and i would hate it. Well it was really violent but i LOVED IT! i never wanted to put it down and got so mad when i had to stop. i just found out theres is a prequel and im going to get it ASAP. truly amazing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2009

    Meh

    Not worth reading, definitely not worth buying. Another cliched tale full of predictable characters. Fukui tries desperately to disguise old plotlines with contrived "action" scenes.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Abosolutely Incredible

    This book is amazing, it has everything you'll ever need. There's action, adventure, mystery, and a touch of romance. I loved it, and DEFINITELY recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 8, 2008

    A lot of potential wasted

    Coming from a fellow high school student, I had high hopes for this book. I expected a lot from it and some of its potential came through. Most of it hasn't. It seems like he had a good initial idea for the plot, but it slowly devolves into an adolescent fantasy resembling that coming from a random video game. The characters seemed like an attempt at satire, but came out too serious. Also, the lack of character development hurt this book's already present flaws. The over abundance of weaponry and 'over-the-top' action was ridiculous. I feel very disappointed at the lack of follow through on the potential.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2008

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!

    I love this book. It was so great. All of it caught me on edge and was totally a surprise. Some of it I guessed but it always added up to some thing else I didn't count on. It's a good read and because some of the characters were over dramatic it made the story even better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2008

    Absolutely outstanding

    This book was outstaning. It made me think about everything that I am going through with school and made me think that my schooling is not so bad. The book made me dazzle with excitement as the next chapter came to be. I was thrown around because of the different things shown that was going on but I didn't mind because I was able to catch on in no time. The book made me want to cry by the end, it was that good. And it usually takes a lot. I read one page and by the second day I finished it. The begginning, middle, and end altogether caught, and dragged my attentionout of me. I give major props to Isamu Fukui. He's good.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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