Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, Hardcover, 9781416908487, 256pp.
Publication Date: May 22, 2007
In the middle of the night Garrett is taken from his home to Harmony Lake, a boot camp for troubled teens. Maybe some kids deserve to be sent there, but Garrett knows he doesn't. Subjected to brutal physical and psychological abuse, he tries to fight back, but the battle is futile. He won't be allowed to leave until he's admitted his "mistakes" and conformed to Harmony Lake's standards of behavior. And there's no way to fake it. Beaten, humiliated, and stripped of his pride, Garrett's spirit is slowly ebbing away. Then he hears whispers of an escape plot. It's incredibly risky -- if he's caught, the consequences will be unthinkable -- but it may be his only way out.
In this tense, riveting novel, award-winning YA author Todd Strasser reveals what really goes on in highly secretive -- and notoriously dangerous -- boot camps, a stealth prison system where any teenager under the age of eighteen can be imprisoned at his parents' whim.
Todd Strasser has written many award-winning novels, including Boot Camp, Can't Get There from Here, Give a Boy a Gun, How I Changed My Life, and How I Created My Perfect Prom Date, which was adapted for the Fox feature film Drive Me Crazy. He decided to write If I Grow Up after visiting several inner-city schools and reading about the growing problem of gangs. Strasser frequently speaks at schools about the craft of writing and conducts writing workshops for young people. He lives in a suburb of New York City.