The book was a good read. It really got into the issue of death of family and friends, dealing with it, and trying to do what you think is right. It does possess opposition to authority to the degree that students are expected to do what they are told and not encouraged to be free thinkers. The main character goes against these values of educators and religious leaders. The issue of censorship is the main focus after dealing with death of close ones.
If you are an advocate of free thinking, this book is great for you; otherwise, you're better off reading something safer. The concept of blind faith is examined closely, and Crutcher is careful to state that fundamentalists are in no way evil. Some important topics in this book are: death, faith, peer pressure, disabilities and censorship.