BOOK TITLE: Initiation
PUBLICATION DATE: May 2009
AUTHOR LINK: susanefine.com (coming soon)
ABOUT THE BOOK:
What comes from stuffing eight hundred blue-blazered boys into one school, where fifteen floors filled with classrooms and libraries and lunchrooms and science labs stack and bury desperate boys right on top of each other? That’s what freshman Mauricio Londoño discovers, along with a few things about Macbeth and geometry, during his first long year at the St. Stephen’s School for Boy in New York City.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
After many years in New York City, Susan Fine said goodbye to Zabar’s and Gray’s Papaya in search of an affordable apartment. She, her husband, their two young boys, and 10,000 pieces of Lego landed in Chicago, where they love everything except the weather. When she isn’t reading The Dangerous Book for Boys, she’s working on her second novel. A former English teacher, Susan can still hear a me/I error from about a mile away. For assistance with sorting out the me/I conundrum, check out pages 110-113 in her first book Zen in the Art of the SAT. For more equally interesting tidbits, visit Susan online at susanefine.com.
The minute I walked into the St. Stephen’s School for Boys, I began to sweat. There was still no air conditioning. The temperature inside the school was higher than it was outside in Manhattan in the middle of June. I used to think that maybe one day I would be a rich man; then I would send a pile of money to the school, earmarked for air conditioning. I would be the big shot who cooled that place off. Mauricio Londoño: Air Conditioning King…King Cool…Mr. Freeze…Prince Frosty…L.L.Cool…something. I used to dream about that kind of thing all the time.
I still wanted the money. I wanted to be ridiculously rich, but I wasn’t sure anymore about giving a bunch of cash to St. Stephen’s. Despite how hot I was right then, maybe everyone else needed to sweat it out? Endure the misery as I had and every guy before me. The St. Stephen’s rite of sweltering passage.
But when I walked into the building, I knew it. I knew that no matter what I endured or accomplished, how much I sweated it out, how much money I had, or even if The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal applauded some phenomenal accomplishment of mine, I would always be the pathetic ninth grader that I was on my first day at that place. It was as if my eighteen-year-old body was some empty shell housing that punk high school freshman. I would never stop being the scrawny boy who walked the halls of St. Stephen’s scared, anxious, and stooped under the weight of an enormous backpack. It sucked to feel like that. And, worst of all, I was still waiting for the goddamn golden ticket – access to something – despite the trauma of freshman year and everything else. Yet, I had survived when five of my classmates hadn’t.