Radical (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This book draws you right into the mind of Bex, a queer teen from a struggling family in rural Michigan, convinced and obsessed with the imminent demise of civilization and intently training with guns and survival skills. Bex's voice is so distinct, so real, and her perspectives so meticulously described as to feel genuine and understandable (even to a staunch anti-gun person like me). I loved this book and I hope to press it into the hands of many youth, families, and educators. Bex's world is complex--her family's poverty and continued grasping at the middle class, the sexism she encounters in her communities and her family, the silences and secrets she doesn't quite understand and see in time in her family members, the powerfully appealing illusion of control that survivalist messages and gun rights advocates propagate, having to hide her sexuality from her family and the depth of her involvement in the local survivalist 'gun club' from her girlfriend are handled with such precision and such an assured understanding of Bex's perspective. The prose is gripping and the ending is breathtakingly stark, completely unsentimental, yet honest and compassionate, even hopeful, by the last chapter. I loved this book. — From Gretchen's Picks


Determined to survive the crisis she's sure is imminent, Bex is at a loss when her world collapses in the one way she hasn't planned for.

Preppers. Survivalists. Bex prefers to think of herself as a realist who plans to survive, but regardless of labels, they're all sure of the same thing: a crisis is coming. And when it does, Bex will be ready. She's planned exactly what to pack, she knows how to handle a gun, and she'll drag her family to safety by force if necessary. When her older brother discovers Clearview, a group that takes survival just as seriously as she does, Bex is intrigued. While outsiders might think they're a delusional doomsday group, she knows there's nothing crazy about being prepared. But Bex isn't prepared for Lucy, who is soft and beautiful and hates guns. As her brother's involvement with some of the members of Clearview grows increasingly alarming and all the pieces of Bex's life become more difficult to juggle, Bex has to figure out where her loyalties really lie. In a gripping new novel, E. M. Kokie questions our assumptions about family, trust, and what it really takes to survive.

About the Author

E. M. Kokie is the author of Personal Effects, an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780763669621
ISBN-10: 0763669628
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Publication Date: September 13th, 2016
Pages: 448
Language: English