Easy Target

Author: Tim Shoemaker

Publisher: Tyndale

Release Date: March 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A perfect, high-paced read for young adults dealing with bullying and the difficulties they face in school and the complications of social media.

When Hudson Sutton must attend public school after being homeschooled all his life, his parents worry how he will fit in, but Hudson just wants to survive. It doesn’t take him long to figure out how things work and a school project on creating change puts him in the crosshairs of the school bullies. He does make two friends and together they try to take on the bullies to change things at their school. Unfortunately, the plan doesn’t work out exactly like he hoped and he quickly finds himself becoming what he was trying to stop, a bully. Together the friends work to help each other and those around them who don’t even know are being bullied. Will their plan work? Or will it make things worse?

Easy Target starts out nice and slow, but in the best way, there isn’t too much action right away and for a YA/middle grade audience it has a nice pace. The story is right on point with issues that need to be addressed in the world we live in today. The bullying in schools and on social media is an issue that seems to never go away. I loved the way Shoemaker wrote Hudson as he comes in not knowing the dynamics of how a school goes with social parameters and such and thinks he can quickly make changes. As he goes, he learns that none of that is going to be as easy as he hoped it would be. People get hurt and along the way he realizes that making these kinds of changes isn’t going to happen overnight and he can’t go over the heads of others.

As sad as it is, this is a problem that has affects generation after generation and we need to prepare our children for it. One thing I loved about this book was how it showed that even bullies can be hurting inside. Not everything is as it seems on the surface and trying to fit in and be accepted will be something that many kids and adults strive for no matter the cost. A lot of times, people lose themselves in the way they change to fit what others think they should act like, look like, or be. When we focus on what is inside and stop trying to please them, we find ourselves to be so much happier. I read this before letting my ten-year-old read it just to make sure it was appropriate for him. I feel it is a book that all young adults, and those getting ready for middle school where the pressure to fit in can be the greatest, should read and keep their eyes out for those around them that are hurting and figure out how they can stay true to themselves and help those around them at the same time. I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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