Alt Ed

Alt Ed

Audio Other(Other - Unabridged)

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Susan Calloway, bullied and overweight, faces daily humiliation at the hands of her classmates—and she's had enough. With her anger about to reach the boiling point, Susan lands in an alternative education class, a sort of group therapy for the nearly expelled. School is bad enough, but facing off with five peers, including her cruelest tormentor, is worse. Now Susan is being forced to do something she's always avoided—talk about herself and listen to what other people have to say about her. She has two choices: find her voice, or be prepared to take the insults in silence. It won't be easy, but alt ed may be just the last resort Susan needs.

"Carefully nuanced connections between characters plus insight into the adolescent ability to use low self-esteem as a cruel weapon catapults Atkins's novel of troubled teens well above the familiarity of its trappings. Each of Atkins's characters emerges, fully formed from these pages." 
—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402559044
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 08/18/2003
Edition description: Unabridged
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Catherine Atkins is a teacher as well as a writer. She has taught in alternative education programs for the past ten years, working with students of all ages, from elementary level to adults. Most of her teaching experience, however, has been with teenagers. "I enjoy working with teens," Atkins says. "They have it all: the curiosity and vulnerability of children, the blossoming intelligence and awareness of their age, and surprising empathy and maturity, sometimes when you least expect it." She especially enjoys helping students improve their writing skills. "I have given my 'How to write a five-paragraph essay' lesson to many teens over the years, and it's always a joy to watch their faces when they realize they CAN do it, they can write an essay, when they never believed they could before." Catherine's background includes stints as a news reporter and talk-show host. She loves animals, art, and theater. At the age of four, she appeared in a nationally broadcast Pepsi commercial.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Carefully nuanced connections between characters plus insight into the adolescent ability to use low self-esteem as a cruel weapon catapults Atkins's novel of troubled teens well above the familiarity of its trappings. Each of Atkins's characters emerges, fully formed from these pages."—Publishers Weekly

Customer Reviews

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Alt Ed 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
nm.spring08.a.syvers on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book Alt. Ed is a about a teenage girl. She got put into a special class, created by her school for the students that deserve to be expelled; it is kind of like a second chance. The girls name is Susan and she is scared to live her life after being bulled for being overweight. In this class she learns to speak her mind. This is an excellent book for teens that need some inspiration in their life¿s.
DF1A_ChristieR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alt Ed is about an over weight girl who has to go to an afternoon therapy class after she was caught spray painting a students car. Only she didn't do. Her soon to be best friend does, but she takes the blame. In the afternoon class she meets different people. Her best friend is one of them. They all have problems concernig school. Like her best friend is gay. Going to the classes help her better herself and her personality towards the people around her. I like this book because it shows that everyone has problems no matter how big or small they are.
lscottke on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan is fat, Brendan is gay. Together with four other students, they attend an afterschool class with the guidance counselor. Each student has done something that could result in expulsion unless they attend the pilot project ¿Alternative Education.¿ Susan and Brendan develop a friendship through unpleasant shared experience: they are both victims of bullying and harassment. Each week, they have to face one of their most vicious tormentors (Cale,) a perfect and popular student (Tracy) whose goals for college eclipse any notice she would normally take of such outsiders as Susan and Brendan. Then there is football star Randy (Susan has a secret and hopeless crush) and the sluttish (name is a blank. Mandy?)This is a very plausible portrayal of the cruelties of adolescent ¿dissing¿, sexual and alcohol abuse (gang rape) and of how seeking peer group approval often overrides compassion. The story explores the concept that encounter groups can be effective and helpful without entirely solving the underlying problems. Susan is also struggling with a father and brother who have yet to come to terms with the death of Susan & Tom¿s mother. The story brings in the important themes of silence about loss and parental blindness to teenage problems. This could definitely be a good read for junior high students as they are at the highest risk of initially perpetrating or being victims of bullying and, as witnesses, often feel ill equipped to do anything but "run with the pack".
kewpie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan is an overweight girl who fears being ridiculed at school. She has no friends and she spends most of her time trying to make herself invisible and being suspicious of anyone who talks to her.. waiting for the "fattie" punchline. Susan is accused of vandalizing her main abuser's truck. She is due to be expelled but is sent to "Alt Ed" instead. She and 5 other kids sit in a room together after school and talk about their feelings and each other. It plays out exactly like a rated PG version of Breakfast Club, except well supervised and far less edgy.
airdna on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reminded me of The Breakfast Club: a diverse group of teens learns about themselves and each other in an after-school counseling group. But less endearing and affecting, somehow.
bettyjo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
overweight girl in high school attends an after school program and learns about life.
escondidolibrary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Susan is fat and the bullies at school never miss a chance to remind her. After nearly getting expelled for something she did, Susan joins a special class for other students who are also in danger of being kicked out of school. The group includes one of the bullies, a popular guy, a popular girl, a girl with a bad reputation, and a guy she who is becoming her friend. It's rough at first, but slowly the group starts to talk and figure each other out. Great book about becoming aware of your own strengths and learning to ignore stereotypes, rumors, and bullies.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a pretty decent book and it tells a good story. It was truly genuine and it really touched. In some moments it really touched me because I actually would cry while reading the book. Although, I wish it would ended a little differently, but other then that the story was great.
romancemistress More than 1 year ago
Catherine Atkins has delivered a superbly characterized window into what's happening in schools today. For every parent who doesn't think their angel could be a bully there are probably a couple more who don't know that their child is being terrorized daily...and since this sort of systematic bullying seems to lie behind alot of the suicides and school shootings in the news constantly, books like this need to find their way into the hands of students, parents, teachers and other school staff as a way of addressing the issue. We're introduced to the problem in this particular school through the eyes of Susan Calloway whose mother died slowly and painfully of cancer a few years before leaving Susan effectively isolated in her own home. Her father is a successful coach at her school who has closed himself off from his children due to the pain of losing his wife. Her brother is popular, but not the athletic success his father wishes him to be. Her father praises Susan to friends and colleagues because of her academic prowess, but doesn't seem to know that his athletes are some of her biggest tormentors because of her weight. We're never really given an accurate idea of her weight...students call her fat, but she's also described as "chubby" not that that matters; she's picked on daily so that her only refuge is her home and her cat who was rescued from bullies years before. When Susan takes the blame for an act of vandalism in which she did not participate, she is sent to an after school "therapy" session which meets every Wednesday and consists of 6 students who were facing suspension because of their actions. In this class we meet a Jock, Randy (idealized and crushed on by Susan) who's basically a good kid but who doesn't use his popularity to defend those in need; Kale, a redneck who has terrorized Susan since grade school; Tracee, the prom queen/cheerleader/future lawyer who holds everyone to impossibly high standards who snaps and slaps a teacher when that educator betrays those standards; Amber, the tough chick about whom everyone gossips, but whose real story rips the heart out; and Brendan who makes the first friendly move toward Susan in years even though he's been the most sinned against of all in a systematic homophobic campaign of terror. In a book that mixes today's scary school headlines with the classic 80's "Breakfast Club" (but without the unlikely romances), Alt Ed gives us a view of one teacher who tries to introduce a dialogue between troubled students thereby giving them a way to really see each other as human beings rather than stereotypes, also giving them a way to deal with their own victimization in ways alternative to violence against themselves or others. Superb. If you like Chris Crutcher and Carol Plum-Ucci, give this a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was one that caught my eye becasue of the cover. I know strange, but I started reading it and I became addicted. It tells about of young woman's struggle to deal with her weight and her tormentors. The group therapy session helps to reveal how much all these people have in common. A great coming of age story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a girl named Susan Callaway being bullied because she is overweight. She is tired of people always making fun of her, so she fights back. Her anonymous act of revenge lands her in an alternative education class that meets every Wednesday. She meets with five other students that are in the same shoes that she is in. The actions that these students did could have gotten them expelled from school.I didn¿t like how the book had so many chapters so close together. When the chapter I was read got good it would end and start a new chapter. I thought that the book had good description of what is happening. In some spots it felt like I was actually there. This gook is not in a series. I think that this book relates to a TV show called everyone hates Chris. I think if someone likes to sit back and read for a long time than this is the book for them because it gets confusing after awhile. When I picked this book out, I saw that it was about bulling and I just got done doing a project on it, so I thought that it would be a chouse to pick.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alt Ed didn't catch my attention till about 100 pages into the book, then lost it again about 65 pages later. The book is full of dialog and most of it is negative it's full of conflict and the conflict really is never resolved. just put out in the open and accepted by the characters. If you've read almost every other book in B&N go to another store read those books and then read this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This novel has an excellent grasp on the insecurities, crisis, and emotions high school students face. A bit like the 80's movie 'The Breakfast Club', their are many distinct personalities that are revealed during the course of the after school class that fills most of the book. An eye opener for many teens into the shoes of their peers. A quick read -- but well worth it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was a little wary of reading this book when I picked it up in my high school library, actually. I was dreading the possibility of a complete cliche. Needless to say, this book was the complete opposite. It was utterly amazing. I read it WEEKS ago and I still think about it all the time. It takes the idea of things not being what they seems and expands on it. I really connected with the characters, and I loved every one of them. Yes, even Kale. Though the language was a bit coarse, it was incredibly befitting. Everyone didn't talk like a sailor, but it wasn't like an episode of 7th Heaven either. It was really, really realistic. The personalities were amazing, and the situations really happen. I've already recommended this book to half the people I know!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was pretty kewl. I read it in like... 4 days, which is like quick 4 me, cuz i do other stuff. This book reminded me of a kid in my class. But she doesn't get picked on @ all. This girl Susan Callaway, gets picked on a lot, and showed me how bad it hurts ppl's feelings when they get picked on. Awesome Book!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was OK. I tend to read books about teens overcoming obstacles, so this one was right up my alley. I loved the friendships between different cliques that ensued!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Th emain character is Susan Callaway. She is a quiet girl who is overweight and called 'fat' by her peers. She dwells upon the fact that her mother died from cancer when she was only 11. Her father dies not recognize this and, in fact, the people in her house barely talk or even act as a family unit. Her father plays a minor role in this book as the head coach of the football team. Since she has recieved top grades and good remarks for her teachers, her father expects her to be a good girl and act accordingly. Another major role in this book is Mr. Duffy, who is best described as an overweight counselor who believes in doing everything possible to keep kids in school and help them as they struggle. Brendan Slater, Randy Callahan, Kale Krasner, Tracee Ellison, and Abmer Hawkins,also play a key role in this story. The story is about Susan Callaway, who is made fun of because of her weight. One day, while she is in the library, she meets a nice guy named Brendan Slater. He seems nice, but when she mentions him at home, her brother warns her to stay away from him. One day,after lunch, Susan comes back late to find Brendan vandalizing a car. While she does not help him, she does not try to stop him. They both take the rap for it, and are sent into a program headed by Mr. Duffy. When she enters this class, Susan gets to know some of the students who made fun of her. Together,they conquer their fear of people who are different, and even become friends. I think that the underlying message of this book is that hate hurts and prejudice, of any kind, is wrong. I believe that it is semi-realistic in that people are made fun of and many could benefit from just getting to know others who are different, instead of making fun. It shows how one girl is affraid to show her true feelings because she fears that people will ridicule her even more. I woukld recomend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Alt Ed is a realistic and well written story about a group of high school students who attend after school sessions because of something they did. The book kept me thinking about it after I finished reading.