cover image Club Meds

Club Meds

Katherine Hall Page, . . Simon Pulse, $6.99 (176pp) ISBN 978-1-4169-0903-3

Members of Club Meds are the kids who visit the nurse's office to get their prescribed doses of medication in this poignant and funny coming-of-age novel from veteran author Page (the Faith Fairchild mysteries). Narrator Jack Sutton has been a member ever since his mother came to his third grade classroom and discovered the teacher had put Jack's desk inside a large cardboard appliance box (i.e., "Jack-in-the-Box"). Since then, Jack has had a carefully scheduled routine, including daily doses of Ritalin to control his ADHD. The book opens in ninth grade, when the school bully, Chuck Williams, starts stealing Jack's Ritalin, and demands a weekly quota of pills. Luckily, Jack has "plenty of friends" among the members of Club Meds, and together they come up with a "foolproof" plan to save Jack's Ritalin, and give Chucky and the jocks a long overdue lesson. Page has a finger on the pulse of high school dynamics, and she elucidates the social hierarchy unflinchingly through Jack's humorous narrative. His voice is consistent and assured; his trust in his friends is endearing and well placed. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)