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Boot Camp

by Todd Strasser

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6085030,126 (3.88)13
After ignoring several warnings to stop dating his teacher, Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a boot camp that uses unorthodox and brutal methods to train students to obey their parents. In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn't. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won't be allowed to leave until he's admitted his "mistakes" and conformed to Harmony Lake's standards of behavior. And there's no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett's spirit is slowly ebbing away. Then he hears whispers of an escape plot. It's incredibly risky -- if he's caught, the consequences will be unthinkable -- but it may be his only way out. In this tense, riveting novel, award-winning YA author Todd Strasser reveals what really goes on in highly secretive -- and notoriously dangerous -- boot camps, a stealth prison system where any teenager under the age of eighteen can be imprisoned at his parents' whim.… (more)
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English (48)  German (2)  All languages (50)
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
I found this book relatable for a YA audience. There were elements that I think were very true (1) teenagers think they know everything, (2) teenagers want autonomy, (3) teenagers do not always know what is best, and (4) authority can overstep. While I do hope that no teen who ever reads this book is on the path towards a Boot Camp, that certainly does not mean that it would never happen. It is a good book to remind us all that resilience can be matched, and it may be matched in undesirable ways. ( )
  startwithgivens | Dec 4, 2018 |
Garrett's parents don't approve of his behavior. 15-years-old, he doesn't listen, and is having a relationship with a former teacher. They arrange for him to be kidnapped and taken to Lake Harmony, a boot camp for delinquent and troubled teens where he is to be reprogrammed, no matter what it takes. ( )
  lilibrarian | Dec 28, 2017 |
At first I found this book unbelievable...what disciplinary program actually believes cutting kids down and abusing them builds them into better people? But the author cites his research and sources so apparently this is really happening across the country. The story finally picked up for me when Garrett, Pauly and Sarah make their escape. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Fifteen year old Garrett is kidnapped and taken to a teen boot camp when his parents decide they can't deal with his misbehavior anymore. Despite being at the top of his class, Garrett has disappointed them too much by dating his teacher, and not listening to their advice. Lake Harmony Boot Camp is portrayed as a wonderful place where teens will learn to respect their parents and will only be returned to them when they have achieved model behavior. Instead, it's really a prison where teens are regularly beaten, and starved, while also being physically and emotionally destroyed. Despite their best efforts, Garrett is determined to beat the Harmony system. Unfortunately, Lake Harmony is known for always winning. The chilling account of Garrett's stay at Lake Harmony is followed by information about real life boot camps just like it which are described in the Afterword and Reference List. Sadly, almost 10,000 teens are incarcerated in these types of behavioral boot camps throughout the U.S. and other countries. Strasser tells of the horrors they endure in "Boot Camp." ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
This Young Adult fiction novel is on the Great Books for Children and Teens 2007 reading list. I'm not sure I would have picked it up if it hadn't been assigned to me to read, but I am happy I did!

'Boot Camp' has absolutely nothing to do with the Army. This story is far more sinister. The book opens with Garrett, a 15-year old boy, being "transported" to Lake Harmony. He's not sure what is going on, but it is soon revealed that his parents have sent him to this camp to "cure" him of his problems.

I don't want to give too much away, but I will tell you this book is not for the weak of heart. Author Todd Strasser cites his sources in the back of the book, explaining that the conditions and abuse Garrett endures at Lake Harmony are not just from his imagination; there are camps like this all over the United States. Children are sent away from their homes and force to comply with "rules" meant to turn them into the child their parents want.


Despite its dark story, this is a page turner. The chapters are just short enough that you convince yourself that you could read just one more. And then that chapter ends in a bit of a cliff hanger and you have to keep going! A disturbing page turner!

Originally posted on orangerful.vox.com ( )
  orangerful | Aug 21, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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After ignoring several warnings to stop dating his teacher, Garrett is sent to Lake Harmony, a boot camp that uses unorthodox and brutal methods to train students to obey their parents. In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn't. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won't be allowed to leave until he's admitted his "mistakes" and conformed to Harmony Lake's standards of behavior. And there's no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett's spirit is slowly ebbing away. Then he hears whispers of an escape plot. It's incredibly risky -- if he's caught, the consequences will be unthinkable -- but it may be his only way out. In this tense, riveting novel, award-winning YA author Todd Strasser reveals what really goes on in highly secretive -- and notoriously dangerous -- boot camps, a stealth prison system where any teenager under the age of eighteen can be imprisoned at his parents' whim.

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