Posts Tagged ‘jon anderson’

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Samantha Waxman is a senior at Oliver Ames High School in Easton, MA. Some of her hobbies include cheering for her high school’s team, hanging out with friends, and spending time with her dog Rosie. Samantha’s favorite subject in school is history, and she is excited to start her senior year.

Samantha was asked a series of questions about young adult novel “The Battle for Innocence” by Stacy Padula, which is the 4th book in the Montgomery Lake High Series. Below are her responses.

Why is this book a helpful resource for teens?

This book is a helpful resource for teens because it sheds light on different sides of the teenage lifestyle. You can be more religious and low key or you can be a “party goer” and really enjoy that scene. Either way, it is very important to be your own person and not make choices based on other people. Know yourself and your limits no matter what setting. Throughout the book, you can see some people changing for others and it gives you the most uneasy feeling. The best way to make friends or relationships is to be yourself and show your true colors.

Who is your favorite character in this story and why?

My favorite character in this story is Jon. You get to see him in such an innocent light and I really like that side of him. You can tell how much he cared for Chantal even though she was going back and forth between him and Andy. I really liked how Jon approached the situations he was faced with and it could help some teens out there who are struggling with the same obstacles.

What was the most surprising thing about seeing the main characters’ lives in 7th grade?

I was surprised at how much relationships and dating meant to the majority of them. Of course not for Cathy, but they all seemed to like someone or already be dating. In 7th grade, a lot of the “relationships” are glorified friendships but they seemed to take it pretty seriously. Another thing that caught me off guard was the amount of drinking. In my opinion that is way too early to even look at a drink so I was taken back by it all and how they abused it in a sense.

Why is it important for readers to know the backstory shared in this novel?

It gives you a sense of who the characters used to be and how much they have changed due to certain obstacles or certain people. They are only freshman in the first couple of books but from 7th grade they really did change a lot.

 

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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?

In anticipation of its public release, The Battle for Innocence was read and reviewed by a 7th grader at Pollard Middle School in Needham, Massachusetts.  

“Jon Anderson’s heart pounded heavily against his chest as he opened Chris Dunkin’s front door. He had walked through that door thousands of times before, but never during one of Taylor Dunkin’s ‘ragers.’ As Jon stepped into Chris’s living room, the odor of beer besieged his nostrils. Chris’s home—the normally calm spot, perfect for watching Patriot’s games—resembled a whirlwind.” (page 4) In The Battle for Innocence by Stacy A. Padula, a Young Adult/Realistic Fiction novel, the main character, Jon Anderson, is thrown into just what the quote above says: a whirlwind. The story is set in western Massachusetts, and is a back-story to the Montgomery Lake High book series.

Jon, a seventh grader at Montgomery Lake Middle School, is the only Christian in his group of friends. As a result of the wild parties thrown by his best friend’s older cousin, Jon fears his closest friends are getting pulled into a world of temptation. He is stuck in an emotional battle, torn between pulling away from them and staying as a good influence in their lives. “‘God help me,’ Jon muttered aloud, hurdling over a large rock that lay at the edge of the lake. My heart is filled with conflict. I don’t want to separate myself from my friends. I don’t want to give up on them. I know you can change them. I know they don’t have to follow Taylor Dunkin’s path. Please intervene…I can’t abandon them. They need me. I love them. Please put someone in my life that can hold me accountable. I just want a Christian friend who will be able to understand my struggles.”(page 58) Meanwhile, Jon’s friend from church, Chantal Kagelli, finds herself in a similar dilemma across town. Chantal, a seventh grader at Sterling Middle School, has more than just one boy chasing after her. While her Class President, Andy, is trying to win her over with notes, cookies, and all the right words, her heart is aching over her interest in Jon. Chantal is petrified of her feelings for Jon, and decides that she should try to fight them off by getting closer to Andy. Despite many warnings from her twin sister that Andy could be a bad influence in her life, Chantal decides that it is more important to shine as a good influence in Andy’s life than to worry about the dangerous path he could take her down. Chantal finds herself in a whirlwind of her own, as she learns a life-changing lesson about the teenage world outside of church! The Battle for Innocence is filled with realistic party scenes and tempting situations that teenagers face during middle school and high school. The way the book is written allows readers to get inside Jon and Chantal’s heads and relate to their internal battles.

Out of all of Stacy A. Padula’s books that I have read, The Battle for Innocence is my favorite. I give it 4.75 out of 5 stars. It overflows with valuable background information about the main characters of the Montgomery Lake High series that makes the characters even more relatable and dynamic. I recommend this book to anyone age eleven or twelve. It has a lot of strong messages about peer pressure and making good decisions. I think anyone who has read the Montgomery Lake High books should read The Battle for Innocence to gain a deeper understanding of how Jon, Chris, and their friends got into so much trouble at such young ages. To learn more about the causes of teenage substance abuse and the gateway to addiction join Jon and Chantal in their battle for innocence.