Parents' Guide to

Recovery Road

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Gritty book about substance abuse is OK for mature teens.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
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Kids say (5):

After a harsh start, what emerges is a vivid, authentic story of a girl growing up fast. Maddie starts off as a living nightmare, but by book’s end she’s redeemed as a teenager who is both sympathetic and strong. In her character, teens will recognize an intense distillation of many issues that will resonate: peer pressure, public personas, flirtations, mature love, complex friendships, dangerous choices.

Bristly Maddie sneaks up on you, capturing your loyalty as she learns to engage with life and with other people. The secondary characters are skillfully developed, complex and, for the most part, skirt stereotyping. Teen readers will appreciate author Blake Nelson’s respect for his audience. He is neither pandering nor paternal. This isn’t just a story to scare kids away from substance abuse: It’s a realistic look at the hard work of growing up.

Book Details

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