For Ages: 14 - 99
“Deeply felt, powerful, devastating and, ultimately, hopeful.” — Nicola Yoon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Everything, Everything and The Sun Is Also a Star
“Powerful and necessary…an important, timely book.” —Amber Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Way I Used to Be
“A story that belongs in every library.” —School Library Journal (starred review)
“A thoughtfully crafted argument for feminism and allyship.” —Kirkus Reviews

From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Brendan Kiely, a stunning novel that explores the insidious nature of tradition at a prestigious boarding school.

Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind.

Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.

As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and to keep the school’s toxic secrets, they are faced with a powerful choice: remain silent while others get hurt, or stand together against the ugly, sexist traditions of an institution that believes it can do no wrong.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 352 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781481480345 | 
  • May 2018 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile ® HL710L
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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to


By Brendan Kiely

About the Book

Jules Devereux and James Baxter are both seniors at the prestigious boarding school Fullbrook Academy. Jules is the daughter of an alumnus, and James is an Ohio hockey player on athletic scholarship. As their unlikely friendship grows, they begin to truly understand the dangerous traditions that allow sexism, harassment, and rape culture to go unchecked at Fullbrook. After Jules is sexually assaulted, she turns to James and their small group of friends to help her reveal the truth, even if that means sacrificing their futures.

Discussion Questions

1. Based on their words and actions, what are your first impressions of James, Ethan, and Freddie? When readers first meet Jules, she’s passing out women’s health pamphlets to incoming students. What does this tell you about Jules’s character?

2. James feels like an alien at Fullbrook Academy, a “dumbass from corn country.” How does this feeling make James susceptible to peer pressure from Freddie? What does James mean when he thinks, “Still, I like the banter. Liked being a part of it all. There was something familiar—not the words, just being part of the conversation”? Describe a time in your life when you felt like James. Why do you think James burns the stolen picture, even though he doesn’t really want to?

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More Books from this Author

The Last True Love Story
All American Boys
The Gospel of Winter

About the Author

Brendan Kiely
Photo credit by Gary Joseph Cohen

Brendan Kiely

Brendan Kiely is the New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, was twice awarded Best Fiction for Young Adults (2015, 2017) by the American Library Association, and was a Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in New York City. Tradition is his fourth novel.