Initiation Secrets: Press Play and a look at hazing rituals, a guest post by author Eric Devine
What are you willing to do to belong to a group? That’s what hazing is, being asked to do certain things in order to be admitted into a special group of people like a team, a club, or a sorority or fraternity. Often the things people are asked to do to prove they are worthy can involve humiliating themselves, sometimes it involves hurting others. And sometimes, people die. Author Eric Devine has written a new novel, Press Play, that explores the way a school’s lacrosse team initiates its new members. As part of the promotion for the book Running Press Kids and Eric Devine are collecting initiation stories on Tumblr to raise awareness about the practice of hazing. Here’s Eric talking about it all in his own words. For more on hazing visit StopHazing.Org.
And yet, this need for sacrifice or to demonstrate one’s conformity, is not unique to sport. Hazing, or initiation rituals, occur within the drama clubs, marching bands, and religious youth groups. Therefore, the question becomes: how prevalent are acts of initiation within the high school culture?
About Press Play:
Greg Dunsmore, a.k.a. Dun the Ton, is focused on one thing: making a documentary that will guarantee his admission into the film school of his choice. Every day, Greg films his intense weight-loss focused workouts as well as the nonstop bullying that comes from his classmates. But when he captures footage of violent, extreme hazing by his high school’s championship-winning lacrosse team in the presence of his principal, Greg’s field of view is in for a readjustment.
Greg knows there is a story to be told, but it is not clear exactly what. And his attempts to find out the truth only create more obstacles, not to mention physical harm upon himself. Yet if Greg wants to make his exposé his ticket out of town rather than a veritable death sentence, he will have to learn to play the game and find a team to help him
Combine the underbelly of Friday Night Lights with the unflinching honesty of Walter Dean Myers, and you will find yourself with Eric Devine’s novel of debatable truths, consequences, and realities. (October 28 from Running Press Kids)
About Eric Devine:
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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