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Accelerated

Cover of Accelerated

Accelerated

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Every afternoon Sean Benning picks up his son, Toby, on the marble steps that lead into the prestigious Bradley School. Everything at Bradley is accelerated—third graders read at the sixth grade level, they have labs and facilities to rival most universities, and the chess champions are the bullies. A single dad and struggling artist, Sean sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the power-soccer-mom cliques and ladies-who-lunch that congregate on the steps every afternoon. But at least Toby is thriving and getting the best education money can buy. Or is he?When Sean starts getting pressure from the school to put Toby on medication for ADD, something smells fishy, and it isn't the caviar that was served at last week's PTA meeting. Toby's "issues" in school seem, to Sean, to be nothing more than normal behavior for an eight-year-old boy. But maybe Sean just isn't seeing things clearly, which has been harder and harder to do since Toby's new teacher, Jess, started at Bradley. And the school has Toby's best interests at heart, right? But what happens when the pressure to not just keep up, but to exceed, takes hold?When things take a tragic turn, Sean realizes that the price of this accelerated life is higher than he could have ever imagined.

Every afternoon Sean Benning picks up his son, Toby, on the marble steps that lead into the prestigious Bradley School. Everything at Bradley is accelerated—third graders read at the sixth grade level, they have labs and facilities to rival most universities, and the chess champions are the bullies. A single dad and struggling artist, Sean sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the power-soccer-mom cliques and ladies-who-lunch that congregate on the steps every afternoon. But at least Toby is thriving and getting the best education money can buy. Or is he?When Sean starts getting pressure from the school to put Toby on medication for ADD, something smells fishy, and it isn't the caviar that was served at last week's PTA meeting. Toby's "issues" in school seem, to Sean, to be nothing more than normal behavior for an eight-year-old boy. But maybe Sean just isn't seeing things clearly, which has been harder and harder to do since Toby's new teacher, Jess, started at Bradley. And the school has Toby's best interests at heart, right? But what happens when the pressure to not just keep up, but to exceed, takes hold?When things take a tragic turn, Sean realizes that the price of this accelerated life is higher than he could have ever imagined.

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About the Author-
  • Bronwen Hruska worked as a journalist and screenwriter for twenty years before becoming a publisher. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, Village Voice, and San Francisco Chronicle, among others. She's sold an original screenplay and original television pilots, even though, alas, none of them were ever produced. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine On the surface, The Bradley School is everything a parent would want for a child--prestigious and demanding--but when a series of questionable events unfolds within its walls, one parent has to look beyond the institution's faade. In this solid audio performance, Mauro Hantman's relatable voice is distinctive without sounding forced or conspicuous, and the pacing is brisk and easy to follow. This novel prominently features the voices of children, and Hantman portrays them without condescension or clichés. At times, the story veers into gripping scenes that may seem hard to believe, but thanks to Hantman's measured tones, what stays with the listener is the suspenseful plot. A great listen. L.B.F. (c) AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    August 13, 2012
    All Sean Benning wants is for his eight-year-old son, Toby, to be happy. But competition is cutthroat at Manhattan’s fictional Bradley School, and single dad and struggling artist Sean doesn’t fit the Bradley helicopter parent mold. In Hruska’s witty, piercingly relevant debut novel, she pulls back the curtain on the lengths to which people will go to produce successful children. After his wife leaves the family abruptly, Sean becomes Toby’s sole caregiver, while juggling his day job at a celebrity tabloid and his own pursuit of art. Not only is he the odd man out financially (his in-laws pay the tuition) but when the school suggests that Toby, whose behavior is “becoming an issue,” should be medicated, Sean learns that he’s one of the few parents with a child not on drugs. Though Toby seems normally exuberant for his age, Sean is unnerved by the pressure exerted by Bradley and digs deeper into the use of Ritalin with the help of a sympathetic teacher. When tragedy befalls one of Toby’s classmates, Sean becomes even more determined to uncover the reasons behind the medicating of the student body. Hruska perfectly captures the prep school milieu that crackles with rumors, money, and the hunger for success, while creating a wholly sympathetic father-son relationship that ranks love over Ivy League potential. Agent: Stephanie Abou, Foundry Literary + Media.

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    Blackstone Audio, Inc.
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Accelerated
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