Book: Imitation Me by Denise Atchleycategories: Book, Struggling Student, Fitting in School, Struggling Young Adult, Surviving High School, Finding Yourself, High School Student, Public Education Issues, High School Struggles, Getting Through School, Alternate Education, Science Fiction Adventure
Denise Atchleyabout this book: As a teacher and parent, I have looked in the eyes of many young adults from various schools, who struggle with the whole concept of the structured school day and the requirements that are in place to graduate. Whether the students are artistic, creative thinkers, attention deficit or struggle with the required curriculum, there is a large population of students who do not fit in the structured environment. In fact, the look in these students' eyes reveals it all; they are suffocating, feeling like they are imprisoned at times.
This is how Trent, the protagonist feels. In fact, he refers to his high school as a prison and the classrooms as cells. His only saving grace is his beautiful freshman companion Cecelia, who is actually his complete opposite and thrives in the structured environment.
It would be great to witness young adults receiving a gift like Trent receives at Christmas. Now, that would be a sight to see!
The title of my book is IMITATION ME, which is symbolic of how Trent feels every day, like he's an imitation of his true personality and talents. It's like he's acting the part of the obedient student, following the rules and pretty much playing the game of education just to survive.
I chose the cover, which is actually a picture of my son as a freshman in high school (who is now a sophomore in college), because I've seen that look in his eyes as well as my older son's eyes (who a college graduate). I thought my son's picture was a good representation of how I see Trent, the main character.
It took me about four years to write IMITATION ME because I would get stuck or experience writer's block, I guess. I would visit with college students about their high school experiences and with students from a variety of places to develop the characters, teachers and the storyline. I am really inspired by young adults and their views of the world, especially education.
I would like to thank the readers for reading my first novel and to encourage young adults to pursue your dreams. Plow through the tough times, but don't lose sight of who you are in the process. Stay true to yourself.
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