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Accelerated (Compact Disc)
October 2012 Indie Next List
“What starts off as a send-up of overscheduled, gifted children and the Rambo parents and elite schools that create them quickly turns into a tale of a huge pharmaceutical conspiracy. When Sean reluctantly caves in to the pressure that New York City's most prestigious school exerts on him to start medicating his son, Toby, for seemingly nonexistent issues, there are disastrous consequences. Sean must gather his allies close and his enemies closer if he wants to take on this bedrock of prestige and wealth, whose arms of power extend eerily into every aspect of his life. A fast-paced read covering a topic about which every reader should be concerned.”
— Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA
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.