THE GREENLEE PROJECT
Amanda M. Thrasher
Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary / Cyber-bullying
Publisher: Progressive Rising Phoenix Press
Date of Publication: October 31, 2015
Number of Pages: 206
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Greenlee Lynn Granger is about to find out how easily social media can be used as a malicious tool: a normal teen one day and ruined the next. Who knew a boy’s affections would turn her life into such a nightmare? Becoming a designated ‘project,’ a joke in front of the whole school, turns Greenlee’s life upside down. Relationships with her family and friends strained, she is forced to make mature decisions. Greenlee knows her choices will determine the future of her abusers.
An emotional glimpse into the reality of cyber-bullying, The Greenlee Project showcases the all-too-common anonymous and cruel betrayals of others through social media, of such magnitude that it devastates a young teen, her friends, family, and the community. Cyber-bullying affects not just the victims, but everyone around them. After being the target of cyber-bullying, what Greenlee does next is shocking.
Praise for The Greenlee Project
“The Greenlee Project is a touching and chilling cautionary tale that every teen should read. Amanda Thrasher gives us interesting and compelling characters, a well-crafted plot, and a breathless pace. Her teens are so real that you will feel you know them personally. Teens will find The Greenlee Project a compelling read and a helpful guide, while adults will see the challenges today’s teens face. This is a grand and important story.”
-- David A. Bedford, Ph.D. Instructor of Spanish at TCU
"The Greenlee Project is a captivating fictional story addressing critical real-life issues that tweens and teens face today. Bullying and cyber-bullying are part of our society today that has had tragic consequences for many. Amanda Thrasher, is a talented author, who has delivered a story that is both compelling and also thought-provoking. You can feel the emotions of each of the characters as the story unfolds along this journey. It will leave you with the desire to change the world around you and to talk to others about the increasing severity of bullying and cyber-bullying. With the discussion questions included, this is an excellent choice for book-clubs and middle school language arts classes. Such a critical and important story.
– Lisa Robinson - NSC
"The Greenlee Project is a wonderful book about a terrible subject. It’s hard to read this book without feeling sad, then angry, then empathetic, then proud."
– Sherry Leigh Rummel
"I was blown away by The Greenlee Project. You hear so much about bullying and things that teenagers deal with online these days. It’s been a few week since I finished the book, and I’m still thinking about how real the characters are. You feel like you could meet any of them at any high school any where. This book is great for any age group, but teens and their parents should definitely read The Greenlee Project."
– E. Nieman
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HALL WAYS REVIEW: In a story that could be pulled straight from today’s headlines, author Amanda Thrasher tells a tale of how one boy’s secret football initiation challenge snowballs into cyber-bullying of devastating proportions. It is not, however, just the bullies and the victim whose lives are changed; the ripple effect impacts the whole community.
What is particularly interesting to me about The Greenlee Project, is that the main perpetrator of the bullying is basically a good kid who makes some bad choices. Clay Manning is the new kid at school, and he desperately wants to establish himself as a leader on the football team – no matter what the cost. His first mistake (after coming up with his ridiculously insensitive plan) was to feed on encouragement from his peers; his second mistake was to ignore his own gut feelings telling him what he was doing was wrong; his third mistake was to believe that anything electronic could be confined to a small, contained group of people. As the initiation project becomes frenzied and then spirals out of control, the lessons for readers to learn are important – and plentiful.
Thrasher’s characters are realistic and identifiable. Most of the characters will seem familiar and just the kinds of kids, school staff, and parents found in any high school environment. Many of the characters will elicit a specific reaction from the reader including loving them, loathing them, and everything in between. The story is told from omniscient point of view, so readers know the thoughts of pretty much every character in the story, during every scene in the story, which often felt like information overload. Then again, information overload is part of what drives the plot of The Greenlee Project – there’s that constant stream of data with an always present, ever-growing audience pushing for more and more and more.
The writing level and dialogue are authentic to the setting and primary audience, and the pace will keep readers engaged, no matter what age. The author keeps the content vague when referencing sexual situations and shows clear consequences for drinking alcohol, so it’s appropriate for a wider band of readers. The book could benefit from some editing to clean up the scattered errors and to establish a clearer timeline of events. Despite the errors, by the end of the book, the big picture is clear. The ending is excellent in modeling that victims have a choice to remain powerless or to become empowered, and that out of misery can come great awareness and the ability to make a difference.
Multiple Award Winning Author Amanda M. Thrasher was born in England, moved to Texas and resides there still. Author of several children’s books including picture books, middle-grade chapter books, YA and even a reader’s theater titled “What If . . . A Story of Shattered Lives.” She conducts workshops, writes a blog and contributes to an online magazine. She’s a multiple Gold recipient of the Mom’s Choice Awards for The Greenlee Project, YA and General Fiction, and for Spider Web Scramble, a Mischief book. As Chief Executive Officer of Progressive Rising Phoenix Press, she assists authors with their work and shares her writing process and what she has learned as a publisher with people of all ages.
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