Q&A with Elizabeth Harvey of Emerson College
The drug use and sexual content in this book will surely get it banned from schools, but the topics are too relevant in teenage culture to be ignored. Why do you think this book should be read by kids in middle school and high school?
I believe a common misconception is that middle and high school age students know less than parents or teachers would maybe like to think. Especially in an age of oversaturation of media, with children as young as kindergarten having access to smartphones, tablets, and the internet, I think it is both essential and relevant for middle and high school age students to be exposed to the drug and sexual content in this book. Gripped Part 2 portrays a realistic image of drug and sexual content throughout the story, yet still in an appropriate manner that is informative, rather than younger students discovering various misconceptions about these topics from other sources. Additionally, I find it very important to open an honest dialogue with kids earlier rather than later, giving them the appropriate tools and knowledge to deal with certain situations that inevitably come with “teenage culture.”
What can kids learn from reading this book?
I enjoyed reading this book because I think kids can learn a multitude of things based upon their own life experiences and what they are going through or thinking about while reading. The detail and specificity in which the friendships are portrayed, and the context the conversations take place in, accurately represents how teenagers speak to one another and their thought processes, something that younger readers will undoubtedly identify with; possibly taking away lessons from the mistakes or decisions some characters take.
GRIPPED PART 2: BLINDSIDED (JUST RELEASED!)
“What other drugs have you tried?” Lisa asked.
“Weed, mushrooms, ecstasy, mescaline, acid, Adderall, Xanax, Klonopin, and Vicodin, but this one is, by far, the best,” Chris replied without any hesitation.
Lisa widened her eyes. “Wow. You’ve tried a lot of stuff since we broke up.”
Fourteen-year-old Chris Dunkin is known for being the life of the party and everyone’s favorite friend. Despite his amicable nature, he carries around deep-seated pain from his childhood that he frequently numbs with alcohol and drugs.
After hosting a party, Chris wakes up with a strange vibe running through his body and no recollection of the previous night. When he learns the horrifying truth of what his night entailed, the trajectory of his life is changed forever.
Purchase Gripped Part 2: Blindsided this month, and 50% of the proceeds will go to saving dogs from kill shelters, restoring them to health, and placing them in loving homes through the remarkable efforts of Last Hope K9 Rescue—a Boston-based non-profit that saves dogs from high-kill shelters throughout the Unites States. To date, Last Hope K9 Rescue has saved the lives of over 7,600 dogs!
ELIZABETH HARVEY, NEEDHAM, MA
EDITOR | SR. COMMUNICATIONS & MARKETING INTERN
Elizabeth first interned for Stacy Padula during the 2016-2017 school year. We are delighted to have her back as part of our team. Elizabeth attended Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications for one year before moving back to Boston and taking courses at Northeastern University. In the fall, she plans to attend Emerson College, as a communications major with a focus on public relations. She is originally from Needham, Massachusetts. Elizabeth enjoys creative writing and has a passion for traveling which she has pursued since high school. She looks forward to continuing her work on the Gripped book series!