Five High School Dialogues by Ian Thomas Malone
Publisher: February 2016
Publication Date: Eleventh Hour Literary Press
High School, a rite of passage for all American teenagers, can be a daunting experience. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little help along the way? George Tecce, known as The Chief, takes a hiatus from his collegiate adventures to help students navigate through the often daunting labyrinth with his signature oft-kilter enlightening comedy. No topic is off limits as The Chief breaks down high school for students and parents discussing such topics as bullying, prom, and the dreaded group project. Refreshingly unique and accessible, Five High School Dialogues is the perfect all-inclusive guide to high school.
*I was given an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Five High School Dialogues is not my usual kind of read, but when I received the review request from the author, I decided it was time to step out of my comfort zone a little bit. Surprisingly, reading FHSD didn’t require much “stepping out” on my part. I enjoyed just as much as I would have enjoyed any other of my “usuals”.
The book has five different dialogues, which take place in five different scenes. Each dialogue is between The Chief (a young high school teacher) and one or more high school students. They discuss topics ranging from bullying to prom, which might sound quite boring, but is not.
The interactions between the students and the teacher sound quite realistic, even though there are a few instances that the students sound rather formal. Other than those few instances, the author manages to portray Chief as the young male teacher almost every school has; you know, the one that most people feel comfortable asking for advice, but can never seem to get a straight answer out of. The author also perfectly portrays the defensiveness that can be evident with teenagers, and that’s another thing that adds to the realness of the book.
I like the fact that even though the topics discussed in the book are serious, The Chief gives advice in a totally non- boring way, that manages to be insightful at the same time. I also like the fact that there is some element of mild humour in the book, even though most times, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that kept making me giggle.
Overall, Five High School Dialogues may not be the conventional fiction book, but it is a beautifully written, well thought out book. And it’s a stress free read. What more could you want? J