Bad Behavior at Boarding School
When Do Prep School Pranks Go Too Far?
When do Muffy and Biff’s* practical jokes go too far? Where’s the line between annoying but amusing and reprehensible anti-social, or illegal activities? What about driving off campus or war games with the nearby military school cadets? Here are the books that present the questionable behavior. They may invoke feelings of moral outrage, tears, or LOL, or possibly, all of the above.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks: a novel / E. Lockhart
Frankie Landau-Banks is a legacy at prestigious Alabaster Prep. The summer before her sophomore year, something happened to her. She “filled out her figure and transformed from a homely child into a loaded potato — all while sitting quietly in a suburban hammock, reading the short stories of Dorothy Parker and drinking lemonade.” When she returns to school hunky senior Matthew Livingston claims her as his girlfriend. He introduces her to his friends, including the Big Man on Campus, Alessandro Tesorieri, known to everyone as “Alpha”, as in leader of the pack. Frankie discovers that there really is a pack, the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds, an all-male secret club devoted to pranks and practical jokes, to which her father was a member. But, why should the boys have all the fun?
Looking for Alaska: a novel / by John Green
When Miles leaves Florida to attend Culver Creek Preparatory School in Alabama he hopes he’ll be able to make some friends. He falls in with a lively group of the other boarders who have a steady rivalry going with the “Weekend Warriors,” students who live close by and go home on the weekend. They put great thought and planning into executing practical jokes. Miles is fascinated by and attracted to Alaska Young, a pretty, energetic and moody fellow student with a boyfriend attending Vanderbilt.
Jellicoe Road / Melina Marchetta
Taylor Markham has a lot on her mind. She’s just been appointed as leader of Jellicoe Boarding School for the war games between her school, the cadets, and the townies. When she goes to territorial negotiations she discovers that her old boyfriend is the cadet’s leader. But worst of all, her guardian Hannah has disappeared. She thinks that the adults know where she is, but they won’t tell her, and she’s afraid that Hannah might just disappear like Taylor’s mother did.
* Actually, none of the characters in these titles are named or nicknamed Muffy or Biff, but you will meet Alaska, Alpha, and Raffaela, not to mention Senior, the laughing boy in the tree, and Pudge.