A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book about hazing, and includes some bad behavior, including underage drinking, pranks, a gun being waved around, and a final tragedy. It's easy to relate to Jericho's desire to fit in with the popular crowd. His story could be a cautionary tale to young teens about to have to make their own decisions about fitting in and peer pressure.
What's the story?
The coolest group in Jericho's high school is the Warriors of Distinction -- they wear cool clothes, have great parties, get all the girls, and do the occasional service project. When Jericho is invited to pledge he's surprised and thrilled. He even gets the girl of his dreams. But he's less thrilled with the initiation activities, and with the way the first ever girl pledge is being treated. The activities seem scary and border on abusive. But he's determined to make it and not let his friends down. Then tragedy strikes.
Is it any good?
THE BATTLE OF JERICHO imparts a worthy lesson about going along with peer pressure and making bad choices. But while Draper certainly takes on a timely and compelling issue by examining hazing, readers may find that the plot is secondary to the point. And the dialogue -- with an abundance of exclamation points -- fails to ring true.
This book is part of Draper's series that also includes the stronger installment November Blues, which looks at the life of a pregnant teen.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about hazing. How does the presentation of it this book compare with what you've seen at school? Do you think Jericho's story is realistic?
The sequel to this book, November Blues, features Jericho's girlfriend. Are you interested in following the story?
What's fun about reading a series? Why do you think publishers may want to print them?
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.