Article by Kyle Banker, University of Miami
The Gripped book series by Stacy A. Padula allows teens to learn about substance abuse in a different manner than they are accustomed to at school. Instead of being educated about the issue, they are instead being warned about the consequences of taking drugs. More specifically, readers will see the drastic changes that drugs can make to a teenager, such as a change in personality traits, motives, or social interactions. In addition, kids will also be exposed to the processes of withdrawal and overdose, as there are a few characters in the novel who are affected by it. Gripped Part 2 provides a broad overview of the whole topic at hand, and whether a teen is familiar with drug problems or not, he or she will learn new content and experience new scenarios through characters in the book.
It is very important for students of these ages to read Gripped Part 2 because it shows the honest truth of the massive drug problem that has risen from this generation. While it may seem from a parent’s perspective that topics in the novel may be over-exaggerated, that is certainly not the case. In fact, there are many more details in relation to withdrawal and overdose that have yet to be mentioned all because this topic is so prevalent. Overall, while drugs may not be one of the first things you want to teach your child before going to middle or high school, it should be a definite priority considering the significant increase in substance abuse in the 21st century. Gripped Part 2 effectively puts the problem into perspective.
“Gripped Part 2: Blindsided guides the reader through a thrilling narrative, expertly utilizing flashbacks to demonstrate a complete picture of just how devastating and far-reaching substance abuse can be, as it impacts not just individuals, but entire families and communities. It is an essential young adult book for kids and parents alike.” – E. Harvey, Emerson College
“One of the main benefits of reading Gripped Part 2: Blindsided, as well as the entire Gripped series, is that it not only shows the horrors of substance abuse, but also reveals the buildup to it. Blindsided depicts not just the worst days, but the first days. Through the story, teens are able to learn about decisions and behaviors that can lead to drug abuse. Throughout the story, the social lives of the different characters intertwine with each other, creating drama, conflict, and new friendships, which makes Blindsided a fascinating read.” – M. Farinacci, St. Sebastian’s School
“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 awakes 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.
About Kyle Banker
Kyle graduated this spring from Beaver Country Day School in Chestnut Hill. His favorite subjects include Biology, English, and Entrepreneurship. Some of his hobbies are playing soccer and hockey, volunteering, and being with friends and family. Kyle plans to study Biological Sciences at the University of Miami this fall.
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