Written by Kate Peterson, Hingham, MA
Kate Peterson is a senior at Notre Dame Academy. She is the captain of her school’s varsity ski team and a member of the tennis team. She is in NDA’s National Honor Society and is involved in her school’s Growing Greener, Spanish, and Model UN clubs. Kate traveled to the Dominican republic this past summer to build houses for a community in need. With a great passion for psychology and science, she plans to major in neuroscience or health science in college.
The book Gripped Part 2: Blindsided by Stacy A. Padula is a page turner. Kids can learn a lot from this book: it teaches about the dangers of drug use and alcohol at a young age; it demonstrates the way that drugs can change your life so much for the worse through a story; it also explains how people’s relationships go through a lot of strain and change in these middle/high school years.
Gripped should be read by kids in middle and high school. Although it it has touchy subjects such as drugs and sexual content, those aspects are relevant to teenagers’ lives. Seeing the way drugs especially affect the characters would be helpful for middle schoolers to see what could happen before they have encounters with it in their own lives. It is also important for high schoolers to read about to further understand and gain insight on how the experiences they or their friends are facing can affect their futures from a peer perspective.
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.