Some kids were rebellious….
In an alternate world, in a nameless totalitarian city, the autocratic Mayor rules the school system with an iron fist. 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 possibleat any cost.
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 becomes Tack's mentor.
Then someone close to Tack gets killed in the crossfire between the Educators and the Truants, and he swears vengeance. To achieve his purpose, he abandons his old life and joins the Truancy, looking for an opportunity to confront Zyid, its enigmatic leader. But Tack soon finds himself torn between his desire for revenge and his growing sympathy for the Truants…
About the Author
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." He is now a student at New York University.
Read an Excerpt
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 spun about, 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.
“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.
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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
I think this book will only be appreciated by a few readers, but will be picked up by many boys due to the cover. I liked the characters of Tack, Umasi, and Zyid, and also liked the fact that the book is a stand alone. The death that drives Tack to seek revenge was a powerful motivator, but I thought he might have changed his mind once certain truths were revealed. Again, I'd be very particular about who I recommended this book to. It is more suited to older students (high school)
Tack and his sister Suzie are students. The purpose of the educational system in this dystopian novel is to create adults who will obey without question. In order to do this, the Mayor creates laws that require students to obey, regardless of the task. The consequences are brutal, such as expulsion, which can lead to death. The Mayor, who rules with an iron fist, has a group of Enforcers who make sure all rules are followed.The Truancy is a group of teens who have,for the most part, left school and are fighting the Enforcers. Both sides of this equation use brutal means to attain their goals, which is total annihilation of the other side.Each year the school has senior day during which the seniors brutalize the underclassmen. Tack and Suzie run away and Tack enters uninhabited District 19 where he meets Umasi, a pacifist in this war between the Enforcers and the Students. Tack returns on a regular basis and Umasi teaches him both to fight and to be cmopassionate.When a chief enforcer, Mr. Caine, visits Tack's school, Suzie's friend Melissa throws a sticnk bomb at him. Suzie takes the blame and as Mr. Caine escorts Suzie to a car to drive her away and expel (kill her), The Turancy (in the form of Zyid and Noni) throw a molotov cocktail at the car, inflaming it and killing both Suzie and Mr. Caine. Tack is helpless in this ordeal but runs away in both agony and fear that he will be held accountable in some fashion.Tack runs to deserted District and meets up with The Truancy. He joins and beomces an integral part of their organization. His goal of getting revenge on Zyid and Noni for his sister's death becomes secondary.Through a series of discussion questions at the end of the book, the reader understands that Fukui is trying to relate his story to the guerilla warfare going on in the world today. However, in my opinion, he has created a dull, but violent story. I don't thinnk that the reader empathizes with an character, least of all Tack. The plot is slow, the action mostly bombing and rocket launchers and the pacing, while there is action, is dull and slow. The reader loses the sensation of time.I bagged the book about 2/3 of the way through. Regardless of the outcome, I didn't think I'd gain any more insight into the book and the boredom factor was rearing its ugly head.
Abandoned early on. Written by a fifteen-year-old - reads just like that; in dire need of a good editor.
Judging this book solely based on the fact that it was written by a 15 year old boy, it's quite good. Comparing it to other YA literature, it's mediocre at best. The plot is mediocre, the characters waiver between being flat and three dimensional, and Fukui relies far too heavily on violence. That being said, he's an engaging enough writing that I wanted to know what happened, even though I found the end disappointing. I can definitely see Fukui's potential and hope that he continues to write. Because if he allows his writing to grow up as well, I think we'd be in for a treat.
This book is definitly a solid 9 out of 10. Entertaining read.
Great overall book, its crazy watching tack's character change over time
Isamu Fukui is a genius.