Kathe Koja, Author, Spencer Murphy, Read by, The Full Cast Family, Read by , read by the author and a full cast. Full Cast Audio $17.95 (0p) ISBN 978-1-932076-51-6

The social landmine that is high school serves as backdrop for this thought-provoking story about the challenges involved in standing up for one's beliefs. Perfectly content to move through high school as one of the average kids—not affiliated with any particular clique—Justin is thrown for a loop when his master plan is upset by a class assignment. For an economics project, Justin is paired with Michael Martin, aka "Buddha Boy," a quiet Buddhist whose bald appearance and open observance of the tenets of his faith make him a freak in the halls of his suburban school. As Justin and Jinsen (Michael's spiritual name) become unlikely friends, Justin—and listeners—are introduced to the ideas that Jinsen holds dear. This being modern-day high school, bullies gather to antagonize Jinsen. As a result, Justin's beliefs and his commitment to his new friendship are seriously tested. A young cast led by Spencer Murphy keeps listeners in the moment with its realistic portrayals of teenagers. Murphy conveys a strong connection to the text and his gradual eye-opening is contagious. Ages 12-up. (May)

Reviewed on: 06/14/2004
Release date: 12/01/2004
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