Monday, December 22, 2014

DAWN OF HOPE by Peter Prichard

Dawn of HopeAuthor Peter Prichard invited me to join the blog tour of his book, DAWN OF HOPE.  Prichard has worked with high school students and adults for over 38 years.  He emphasizes the importance of goal setting and reaching those goals.  He won a Youth Advocate award in his hometown and says that the teen protagonist in DAWN OF HOPE is a combination of the hundreds of hardworking, courageous people he has worked with over the years.

Dawn is seventeen and starting her senior year at a new high school.  It takes only one day at Fair Shore High School to learn that the privileged, popular kids are bullies and even sexual predators.  After experiencing unwelcome advances from a group of football stars, Dawn takes matters into her own hands by tripping one of her abusers and accidentally sending him to the hospital.  Naturally, her first day experience sets a negative tone with her fellow students, but Dawn is determined to prove that her treatment was not acceptable, and she vows to make a change in her new hometown.

Her business savvy mother is ready to help in any way she can.  It seems that the two have a past that has created a strong mother/daughter bond.  Unfortunately, as part of adjusting to their new town, Dawn's mother becomes involved in a relationship Dawn feels may be questionable so in addition to dealing with her problems at school, Dawn must keep a watchful eye on her mother.

Because of the permissive attitudes in the town of Fair Shore, Dawn is fighting an uphill battle.  She not only faces ridicule from both teens and adults, but she also faces truly dangerous physical threats that could cause her serious harm.  Can she defend herself and stop the prevalent abuse in her school and town, or will more powerful forces stop her before her job is finished?

Author Peter Prichard takes on quite a bit in this novel.  Teen readers might find it a bit overwhelming.  It includes more adult involvement and conflict than most YA novels.  This reviewer would suggest that DAWN OF HOPE might be described as a crossover type novel with appeal for more mature YA readers or those in the 30 and over age group.  Prichard does have a sequel finished titled DAWN OF THE TOBACCO WARS that is scheduled for release in 2015.

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