Buddha Boy

by | Read by Spencer Murphy

Published by Full Cast Audio

With his shaved head and begging bowl the new kid is an automatic target for the bully boys of Edward Rucher High—an easy mark for their casual cruelty. Watching this, Justin would gladly stay as far from the newcomer as possible—until their economics teacher pairs them for a project and he finds himself becoming fascinated by the kid the others mock as "Buddha Boy." The thing is, friendship with an outcast always carries a price, and soon Justin must decide if he can stay silent in the face of what he knows. A scorching portrait of contemporary high school life, featuring a character listeners will never forget.

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AudioFile Review

Buddha Boy

High school sophomore Justin walks the narrow line that allows him to have some friends while avoiding conflict with the popular bullies who inhabit every school. When he’s assigned to a project with the new boy with a shaved head and outsized clothing, Justin worries that he’ll be unable to maintain his invisibility. What follows is a burgeoning friendship as Justin learns what drives Jinsen, dubbed “Buddha Boy” by the bullies. They share a love of art, and through their work together Justin begins to understand the value of honoring oneself enough to rise above the fray. Koja’s disjointed sentences lend themselves to a full-cast recording, with the various voices helping to illuminate the path Justin takes to self-awareness. Spencer Murphy does a fine job conveying Justin’s fear of the unfamiliar, and Koja’s author note at the end will spark discussion of the writing process, as well as the problem of dealing with bullies. S.G. 2005 Audie Award Finalist, SYNC 2015 © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine

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