cover image Admission


Julie Buxbaum. Delacorte, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-9848-9362-8

Based on the 2019 college admissions scandal, Buxbaum’s ripped-from-the-headlines story gives readers a fictionalized peek into the families who saw no harm in helping their already advantaged children through bribery, cheating, and fraud. Daughter of a venture capitalist and a sitcom star, high school senior Chloe Berringer has enjoyed a relatively challenge- free existence. Though Chloe is aware of her white privilege, she refuses to see others’ hardships, including those of her best friend, Shola, a Nigerian-American scholarship student at the girls’ private high school. Shola’s SAT scores are high enough for her to get into any U.S. college, but attending one depends entirely on scholarship funds, a concept that Chloe can’t wrap her head around. When her family is implicated at the center of an admissions scandal, Chloe finds her world tumbling down. Written in alternating chapters—“then” details the months leading up to the events, “now” portrays occurrences following her mother’s public arrest—the novel follows Chloe as she begins to understand her narrow worldview and possible complicity. Though Buxbaum (Hope and Other Punch Lines) is heavy-handed with the moral lessons, her assessment of the entitled 1% feels spot-on, making Shola’s earned success particularly satisfying. Ages 12–up. [em]Agent: Jennifer Joel, ICM Partners. (Dec.) [/em]