“The Battle for Innocence” is An Eye-opening Book for Teens

Written by Joanna Dakoyannis of Dover-Sherborn High School

The Battle for Innocence, by Stacy A. Padula, is the latest piece to the puzzle in the MLH series.  This book allows the reader insight to the events and influences that shaped the lives of the characters in the MLH series.  Before all coming together at Montgomery Lake High, while still in middle school, the young teens are introduced to each other at various parties of older siblings. They are inevitably exposed to situations involving alcohol, sex and drugs.  While it is shocking to think of such young kids exposed to these things, reading this book exposes the reality of life for teenagers these days.

I would highly recommend this eye-opening book to any teen and any teen’s parent. The story demonstrates how important faith and spirituality can be to teens at this impressionable time in their lives. The teens who look to their faith to guide them through difficult situations have a much better outcome than those who do not.  The book also shows teens that it is okay to say no to alcohol. Throughout the story there are examples of young teens at parties who are not drinking alcohol and are not shunned by their friends. The book focuses on the importance of the early choices teens make and impact that these choices have going forward in high school and beyond.  The Battle for Innocence is an important and enlightening  part of the MLH series that should not be missed!


Jon Anderson and Chantal Kagelli are trying to live moral lives, but temptations are plaguing them in and out of school. Will they continue to be lights in their best friends’ lives or will they get pulled into the darkness?



Joanna Dakoyannis is a rising senior at Dover-Sherborn High School. She enjoys creative writing, traveling, going to the gym, running track for her high school team and loves cheering on the team at school sporting events. She plans to be a science major in college and hopes to eventually attend dental school.

Articles by Joanna:

An Exceptional Book I Recommend to Teens & Preteens

Q&A with Joanna Dakoyannis on “The Right Person” by Stacy Padula

May’s Q&A with Joanna Dakoyannis of Dover Sherborn High School

Joanna Dakoyannis Reviews “When Darkness Tries to Hide” by Stacy Padula

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.