Children’s Book Reviews
Children's Book Reviews: Prince of Pot (YA)
Publish March 20, 2018
Living off-grid in the wilds of British Columbia, Isaac keeps a low profile at school to protect his family’s grow op from being discovered. Expected to take over the family business after graduation, a role that requires a life of solitude and isolation, meeting Sam gives Isaac a glimpse of how his life could be different. Her outgoing nature is a sharp contrast to Isaac’s introversion, inspiring him to come out of his shell and explore going to art school. Tension builds as Isaac feels the pressure of family responsibilities conflicting with his dream of becoming a painter, and it leads to some tough decisions.
Teen fiction author of Anywhere But Here, Tanya Lloyd Kyi builds a vibrant, self-sustainable world through Isaac’s family in Prince of Pot. Modern-day pioneers living in a rustic cabin, Isaac’s parents and grandfather Walt survive off the land. Their motivations for doing so are more dysfunctional than just hiding a grow op, as Isaac begins to realize.
With memorable, richly developed characters, including Hazel, a tame bear who believes she is a human, Kyi writes a compelling story about a young man whose sheltered upbringing is called into question when faced with the larger world. His journey to an abrupt adulthood inspires both laughter and tears, but also effectively develops the deep discord of a son torn between what’s best for his family, and himself.
An avid promoter of Canadian teen fiction, Amy Mathers completed the Marathon of Books in 2014. The money she raised allowed the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to fund the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. She also reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and writes a monthly article for the CCBC e-newsletter.
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