[Book Review] Concentr8 by William Sutcliffe

“If you opened all the doors on all the cages  at London Zoo you’d get the exact something – playtime for the animals and everyone else shitting bricks. It’d be the zookeepers that’d get eaten first- ain’t that the truth.”

Concentr8 is a prescription drug intended for kids with ADD and every troubled teenager is on it. A group of youngster we follow in this story take a hostage when a riot breaks out in the city and they don’t seem to understand why or how…

From book blurb:

This is a book about what how we label children. It’s about how kids get lost and failed by the system. It’s about how politicians manipulate them.

Described as a gripping and controversial read  Concentr8 seemed like a book I just had to read. I have always wondered about all those prescription pills that doctors hand out to children because they just cannot seem to pay attention, or are hyperactive and their education suffering due to this. I don’t know, personally, what is right and what is wrong, or, in fact, how I would approach a situation where I had a child with a diagnosed ADD/ADHD. But sometimes I like to argue that perhaps our education system, and our mindsets, need a revamp. Education system works in this one set in stone way (perhaps it’s changing with technology so readily available in the modern days, though) but youngsters are expected to sit tight in a classroom, keep it zipped unless addressed and given a certain set of agenda to follow. And we all know that this one set in stone system just doesn’t work for everyone. Take any of your adult friends or family- they all approach soaking up information differently- some like to read pages after pages, some could not stand the idea of reading and would rather watch a video and they’d be more informed, some would like a hands-on approach. So, why push education system into a certain box?

Moving on from my personal thoughts this book stirred in me, let’s move on to the book itself!

Each paragraph is narrated through the eyes of the characters… we have the youngsters where the writing style is exactly the way they would speak (so, bad grammar!) and we have the mayor, the journalist, the odd paragraph through the eyes of the negotiator. At the end of each paragraph is a factual piece about ADD medicines. Quite frankly, a scary eye-opening read. It’s as if the whole book is created to get the factual pieces across in a hands-on manner.

I found the read slightly emotional- the thoughts of each child of why they do what they do, how much they understand and at times how much, leaving aside the main event of the book, is not their fault. How they have been let down by the system that is greedy for money, fame and power.

Aside from the children, the characters of the journalist, the mayor and the negotiator had been perfectly brought across and with each paragraph my reading voice changed the tune and the voice accordingly. Quite interesting… I would recommend at least to try and read this book. It will give some food for thought… Let us all interpret the message to our best abilities…

Book via: Netgalley

My Rating: *** stars

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