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From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Brendan Kiely, a stunning new novel that explores the insidious nature of tradition at a prestigious boarding school.
Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.
Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.
Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.
When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.
As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?
About the Author
Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Tradition is his fourth novel.
“Tradition is a deeply felt, powerful, devastating and, ultimately, hopeful look at toxic rape culture and its destructive effects.” --Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun is Also a Star
"Powerful and necessary, Brendan Kiely bravely takes on class, privilege, and injustice in this layered, authentic story about friendship and finding the courage to stand up for what is right—Tradition is an important, timely book that will empower young men to rise up against misogyny and rape culture." --Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be
"Tradition is a startling portrait of privilege and rape culture, but it is also ultimately a book about resistance and hope, the power of friendship to embolden our integrity, and the courage to do the right thing even when everyone else seems to be doing wrong." --Amy Reed, author of The Nowhere Girls
“Tradition is a stunning, timely, and deeply poignant novel about the culture of sexual violence. Sure to spark necessary conversations, this is 2018's must-read young adult novel.” --Kathleen Glasgow, New York Times bestselling author of Girl in Pieces
"Tradition isn't so much a book as it is an invitation and a promise. An invitation to stand up for ourselves and for what's right, and a promise that if we stand, we won't do so alone. Beautifully written with Brendan's wit and compassion, this book is a must read for all those hopeful for a better world." --Shaun David Hutchinson, author of the Florida Book Awards' Gold Medal and ALA's 2015 Rainbow Book List novel, The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley.
"Brendan Kiely’s Tradition is a searing literary call-to-arms in the most powerful and just sense: it takes a sledgehammer to our rotten, dangerous, and deeply ingrained traditions, so that we can build something new and beautiful in their place." --Jeff Zentner, author of the William C. Morris Award winning and Carnegie Medal longlisted The Serpent King and Goodbye Days
* "A story that belongs in every library." - School Library Journal, starred review
“Kiely bravely explores rape culture and how it intersects with class and privilege… readers will find themselves rooting for the world not as it is, but as it might yet be.” – Booklist
“This novel is a timely road map for those looking to find their places in this rapidly changing world… A thoughtfully crafted argument for feminism and allyship."
* “A novel to discuss.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review
* “Kiely handles extremely difficult issues--sexual assault, Internet shaming, substance abuse--delicately and tactfully, giving the characters the space organically to grow, learn and heal.” --Shelf Awareness, starred review
“What Tradition demonstrates is that women finding the courage to speak up is only part of the equation; men have to listen and, more importantly, be willing to change.” --Chicago Tribune
“The novel not only takes on rape culture within educational institutions, but condemns just about every sexist ideal we’re taught to accept” --Culturess