The Buffalo Tree by Adam Rapp

The Buffalo TreeSura has been thrown into a hard core juvie center for “clipping hoodies.” His cock-sure, sensitive, yet unsentimental voice chronicles the abuses and brutal conditions he suffers in authentic sounding street slang that sounds like The Clockwork Orange meets One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. While madness and rage swirl all around him and threaten to beat him down, Sura manages to keep the evil of the place at bay by concentrating on the sanctity of his home, which he never plans to take for granted again. With more instinct than intellect, he knows how to keep his head low even as both of his roommates get sucked in and destroyed by the system. With a perfect ear, Adam Rapp has done the nearly impossible–written a book about a boy that sounds like it was written by a boy and not a well-meaning adult. He joins the ranks of Laurie Halse Anderson and E.R. Frank as one of my all-time, stand-out YA favs.

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