This dark and gritty coming-of-age thriller is crime novelist Edwardson's YA debut. Trapped in a Swedish summer camp run by sadistic adults, where the conditions are horrible and the food is almost inedible, 12-year-old Kenny copes by adopting the way of the samurai, following a code of honor and internal discipline as he leads his friends in building a secret castle in the woods. As tension rises in the camp, Kenny engages in a battle of wills with the tyrannical Matron, which leads to a dramatic showdown that changes the camp forever. An air of ambiguity and uncertainty dominates this psychological drama, and the conflict between campers and authority is constructed through stark, almost cinematic scenes. However, Edwardson's prose is often cold and stilted, leading to moments of emotional disconnect and narrative distance that keep readers at arm's length. The time (the 1960s) and setting are never stated explicitly, which may further alienate the audience. Ages 12–up. Agent: Peter Riva, International Transactions. (June)
Reviewed on: 07/08/2013 Release date: 06/01/2013 Genre: Children's
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