I was asked to review the book Corporate High School and this is my draft review.
|Corporate High School Review
I just had the opportunity to read Benjamin Gorman's Corporate High School. This is a book about a high school girl, her parents, and friends living 100 years in the future, in a very different culture. The main character has to deal with normal high school issues, secrets, and uncertainty about what is going on around her. Admittedly it took me a little bit to get into the book, but about a chapter or two in I was drawn into the story and curious to see where the story would lead me.
As a high school English teacher, I have this dream of teaching a dystopian literature class that would include books like 1984, Fahrenheit 451, Hunger Games, Divergent, and the movie Wall-E. I can confidently add Corporate High School to my dream curriculum. Although I know it would be an extremely depressing course, the context of each of the books would get students talking about our world and what we can do to make it a better place. Corporate High School takes current issues that we face in our culture and predicts what could happen if left unchecked. Instead of just looking at some crazy old guy's prediction that never really came true, or looking at murderous schemes that are impossible to imagine anyone allowing, Corporate High School makes a very real argument for our society that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and the rock show up in the pit of my stomach. This book was more than dystopian for me, it was a horror story. There are certain stores I will be hesitant to shop in ever again, I am ready to throw out my technology for the love of paper and ink, and that bouncy, yellow smiley face will never have the same happy feeling. Gorman faces off against standardized testing, teaching to the test, current political issues in this book, and even validates having a copy of the Bard's collected works in every household.
As the action begins to climax, Gorman does get a little political and "preachy" about our current events that could alienate readers, but if we don't allow commentary and at least learn about other views we will end up right where this book and our fears lead us.
Over all it was a good read, a cautionary tale about the state of our public schools, the economy, and our society and where it could go if the masses do nothing and allow those with money to make all the decisions to make our lives "easier", "safer", or "less stressful." We cannot put our heads in the sand. We must be aware of what is going on and value the freedoms we have and protect them. Benjamin Gorman's book Corporate High School reminds us of that, and will help that idea grow in the minds of any high school student that reads and can relate to this book.