Bottled Up
by Murray, Jaye

Fearful and frustrated with his father, Pip smokes pot, skips school, and finds himself in trouble more often than he'd like, so when the principal threatens him with expulsion if he doesn't see a counselor, Pip finally finds someone with whom to talk to help him work things out. An ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Reprint.

First-time novelist Jaye Murray is a social worker who lives in New Rochelle, New York.

Tackling a familiar theme, Murray pens a compelling debut about a teenage boy with an abusive, alcoholic father. Pip, who's usually stoned, goes into counseling to avoid getting expelled and thereby incurring even more of his father's wrath. In the high schooler's convincing first-person narrative, he struggles with his family's secrets but starts to fall apart under the pressure. A helpful counselor, the boys in his group counseling sessions, and a new teacher provide some support, but it's concern for his younger brother that gives Pip the courage to try, with mixed success, to give up drugs. Painfully believable scenes reveal his father's drinking and violence, his mother's addiction to Valium, and Pip's own escape from his miserable home life through marijuana and alcohol. No easy ending ensues, but Pip's emerging strength, realistically portrayed, bodes well for his future. (Fiction. 12+) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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