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The Free

The Free by Lauren McLaughlin
Mar 13, 2018 | 288 Pages
See All Formats (2) +
  • Paperback $10.99

    Mar 13, 2018 | 288 Pages | Young Adult

  • Hardcover $18.99

    Feb 28, 2017 | 288 Pages | Young Adult

  • Ebook $8.99

    Feb 28, 2017 | 288 Pages | Young Adult

Product Details


Praise for The Free

“A tight, claustrophobic novel that veers between the terror and camaraderie of incarceration; I don’t know when I’ve read a more empathic novel, and it’s been a long time since I read one that was more sorrowful and joyful at the same time.” 
—Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Homeland

“A spellbinding novel about crime, taking responsibility, and finding a new path to justice.”
—Scott Westerfeld, New York Times bestselling author of Uglies and Spill Zone

“A 16-year-old boy works to overcome a lifetime of obstacles in this riveting YA novel about life in ‘juvie.’ Brilliant.” 
—Shelf Awareness, Starred Review

“A Boston-area youth in juvenile detention finds redemption in stories—his and his fellow inmates’ . . . A penetrating look at the power in the stories we tell ourselves.”
Kirkus Reviews

“Tightly woven, well-paced, emotionally framed, McLaughlin’s novel presents Isaac’s life: his irresponsible mother; his wonderfully brave younger sister; and what he is willing to do to provide Janelle with a safe environment. He has broken some laws and done some bad things, but he is the hero of this story.”

“The story is cinematically gritty, sort of a cross between Boys Town and Dead Poets Society, with lots of enjoyably dramatic breakthroughs in the therapy group and convincing details about racial and personal dynamics in detention (mixed-race Isaac has no obvious crew).”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Praise for Lauren McLaughlin

“Artfully fractured and wickedly smart, a brilliant screwball comedy about love, self-knowledge and the secret identities inside all of us.”
—Scott Westerfeld

“The sci-fi plot is so unique, so downright weird, it will keep the pages turning.”
Chicago Tribune

“This original contemporary fantasy will circulate widely, leaving readers hoping that McLaughlin has many more such fresh, edgy books already in the editorial pipeline.”

“A complex, philosophical exploration into gender politics and the mutability of identity.”
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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