Benjamin arrives with his parents for a tour of Roaring Orchards, a therapeutic boarding school tucked away in upstate New York. Suddenly, his parents are gone and Benjamin learns that he is there to stay. Sixteen-years-old, a two-time failed suicide, Benjamin must navigate his way through a new world of "popped privileges," "candor meetings," "morning meds," and "cartoon brunches"--all run by adults who themselves have yet to really come of age. The only person who comprehends the school's many rules and rituals is Aubrey, the founder and headmaster. Fragile, brilliant, and prone to rage, he is as likely to use his authority to reward students as to punish them. But when Aubrey falls ill, life at the school begins to unravel. Benjamin has no one to rely on but the other students, especially Tidbit, an intriguing but untrustworthy girl with a "self-afflicting personality." More and more, Benjamin thinks about running away from Roaring Orchards--but he feels an equal need to know just what it is he would be leaving behind.
That’s Not a Feeling / Dan Josefson
“…Josefson writes vigorously and is well attuned to the upheavals experienced by adolescents.” ~Kirkus Reviews
“… despite the dark humor, Josefson humanizes his characters beautifully. Their longing to connect, and their confusion at where they find themselves—students and faculty alike—is urgently palpable. The prose is matter-of-fact, even placid, and studded with perfectly phrased gems, a cool surface to a work that is rich in feeling. A wonderful and noteworthy debut. YA/Mature Readers: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets Looking for Alaska. The unfairness of it all will resonate with strong teen readers.” STARRED REVIEW ~Booklist (Keir Graff)
“…an incredibly daring experiment in characterization, and one that will surely reward many rereadings.”
~School Library Journal (Mark Flowers)