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Angela Jones pays an enormous price for her beliefs, when she is arrested during an antiwar protest and winds up in a juvenile detention facility. While there, she must fight for emancipation and the right to live independently.
Winner of 2011 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award and 2012 Reader Views Literary Award. The Battle for Tomorrow represents a new genre of topical realism that speaks to the emotional ghetto in which many American teenagers find themselves.
"The Battle for Tomorrow" Novel Review Sept 20, 2011
by Maranda Russell
Most of the books I read and review on here are fairly innocent, but “The Battle for Tomorrow” steps out of this comfort zone and addresses some real nitty-gritty details about what it is like for many kids growing up today.
Written by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, “The Battle for Tomorrow” is the tale of a sixteen-year-old girl named Angela who is pretty much raising herself. Her mother is now disabled to the point that Angela has taken the role of caretaker, but even before her mother’s disability, Angela never felt loved and supported by her parental figures.
The story really picks up when Angela meets a political activist who is deeply involved in political and environmental issues. Angela soon finds herself tangled in this new world, even going so far as to participate in a blockade and occupation of the Capitol. Of course, even non-violent protests have consequences, so Angela ends up incarcerated at a juvenile detention facility where the real battle begins. Faced with the possibility of being put in the custody of children’s services, Angela decides to fight for emancipation, eventually even including the ACLU in her fight.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but there are a few things I feel it is important to share with potential readers. First of all, this is not a book I would recommend for younger teenagers. Some of the issues it deals with are pretty mature. In fact, when the book starts out Angela is trying to get her second abortion. The author presents this and other adult matter in realistic, emotional and sometimes brutal ways. This honesty is what makes the book fascinating and meaningful, but it also makes it questionable for younger readers.
Overall, this book is a book which is much-needed in today’s world when many kids are left to raise themselves or planted in front of an electronic babysitter all day. The story raises many important issues about independence, emancipation, political dilemmas and parental responsibility (or the lack of it).
Stephanie Laymon, Five Alarm Reviews
Aug 11, 2011
I was anxious to find out how Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall would deal with the very real and tough issues in The Battle For Tomorrow. While I anticipated a lot of clinical verbeage and a bit of disconnect with the reality of what a teen like Ange would experience, I found an incredibly well written and realistic read. So realistic, in fact, that I found parts incredibly hard to take on.
Ange’s experiences are unique in comparison to the average adolescent struggles because of the severity of her situation and at times I could see where some readers may mistakenly take offense to some of the things that Ange chooses to do. I say mistakenly because I felt that it was more important to understand Ange and her struggles than to agree with her.
Although I have found this book listed for YA’s, I tend to disagree. While there are some extremely mature teens that this might be appropriate for, I would recommend it for a more mature group. The Battle For Tomorrow: A Fable by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall is a remarkable book for adults working with teens, women’s studies and reading groups because of the numerous discussion opportunities.
Reviewer: Mechelle Dillard, Examiner.com
Ages: Frankly—and ironically, I suppose—I would not suggest this for any reader under the age of 18. Young adult, yes, but for only the very upper-ranges of YA, 18-24.
Seems innocuous enough, a teenage girl concerned about what tomorrow might bring, getting out from in front of the television and getting out into the world to do something about what she perceives as wrong. However, upon delving into the storyline, one will find that a back cover synopsis can be misleading.
The Battle for Tomorrow is well-written, detailed (some may say overly so, but I liked the way Stuart documented every movement with such precision) and, yes, intriguing for the reader. Sixteen-year-old Angela Jones is forced to grow up quickly, after her single mother had a stroke when Angela—“Ange” to her friends—was only 13. Ange becomes her mother’s primary caretaker and, for the most part, lives on her own terms. She is mature beyond her years, but, with no strong adult/parental figure in her life, Ange is easily influenced by political activists who explain to her the catastrophe that is today’s world. Ange takes it all in, and she willingly, eagerly decides that she, too, must make a difference in the world, and begins participating in groups, events, protests—you name it, Ange seems to be ready to take it on.
Some might feel that this is a good thing and, in some aspects, it is. However, it doesn’t take too long for the careful reader to understand that The Battle for Tomorrow is, in essence, a detailed handbook on socialism, not only for those looking for something to believe in, like young Ange, but for those already involved in the political viewpoint who need guidance on how to recruit more sheep into the fold—and Ange is definitely one of those sheep.
5.0 out of 5 stars Cecilia Lee of Allbooks Review (Canada) recommends this, July 29, 2011
In The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable, you will read about current catastrophes facing our world from a totally different perspective.
This fascinating tale is about a vivacious 16-year-old girl who is headstrong and clearly independent. She has been through a lot – two pregnancies, and an equal number of abortions. She has to care for a disabled mother because the caregivers rarely last more than a few months. However, her little world is shattered when she develops a relationship with a 23-year-old nurse-cum-activist. He exposes her to his political and environmental ideals – combating the way the government deals with climate change and the downward spiraling economy. Soon, she believes in her boyfriend’s ideals as much as he does, even joining him on her first protest march! She becomes concerned about the effect these issues will have on young people like herself. In fact, she is so concerned about them that she leaves her home in Seattle and makes the long journey to Washington, D.C. She journeys that far for a non-violent resistance- training course – basically code for getting-arrested-for-civil-disobedience training. Not that she really wants to be arrested. Nevertheless, she jumps at the chance to be totally independent and is soon off on a journey that will change her life forever.
Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall strikes me as a superb author, showing remarkable insight into the mind of this 16-year-old activist. This award-winning book will captivate and inspire the inner activist in all who read it!
5.0 out of 5 stars This Novel Wins the “Battle for Tomorrow”, May 14, 2011 (from Amazon) By Francis L Holland
The Battle for Tomorrow is about a sixteen year-old young woman whose interest in politics takes her places where she never imagined she could go.
People on the Left will be amazed at detail of this novel and its context, because the novel is precisely about THIS MOMENT in our nation’s history.
At the same time, people on the political Right will read “The Battle . . . ” for its shockingly intimate knowledge of the culture that makes involvement in Leftist politics enthralling to young people–even the children of right-wing families and politicians.
If you’re a conservative, you might want to watch your children carefully to see the symptoms leading up to the protagonist’s flight from her family into the hands of the political Left.
Once having started this book, you won’t want to put it down. You may not be able to put it down. The experiences of its protagonist carry the reader along as if we were boyfriends (young again) and blowing kisses to the protagonist, Angela, as her train leaves the station on a trip that is utterly novel and equally unpredictable.
Book review from Hanging Off the Wire by HayleyK
“Though fiction, this book is a sort of wake-up call. It will tug at the inner activist in you to make you want to do something. You fall in love with Ange, she is a much likeable teenager. All the political mumbo-jumbo can maybe bog this book down a bit, but if you can get past all that, then it is an excellent read on which the author takes you on an amazing journey.”
Feathered Quill Book Reviews
Angela Jones goes by the name of Ange, and she is a sixteen-year-old girl whose life, thus far, reads like a horror novel.
At thirteen years of age Ange had to have an abortion because of a date rape incident. In addition to that dreadful moment in her life, Ange’s mother also had a stroke, which Ange was blamed for because family members said that the abortion situation was what put Mom over the edge.
Ange has been trying to change her life. She goes to school, and she has transformed her ‘look’ into a Goth image that finally makes her feel beautiful. But the hard part is that Ange has to take care of her Mom who is currently paralyzed on one side.
What Ange is also up against is the fact that, at sixteen, she now finds herself pregnant again by her twenty-three-year-old political activist boyfriend, Reuben. Ange has power and strength, and acts more like a forty-year-old when it comes to the trials and tribulations of life. Therefore, even though her boyfriend doesn’t necessarily agree, Ange gets another abortion.
It comes as no great shock, given Ange’s situation thus far, that she holds a true concern for the way life is going for her generation, and the horrors they will have to deal with. Everything from drugs, to politics, to war offers an extremely bleak outlook for Ange’s age group, and she intends to have her voice heard.
Following in the footsteps of her grandmother and her aunt, Ange becomes a true feminist and political activist, heading to Washington, D.C. to participate in a non-violent ‘blockade and occupation’ of the U.S. Capitol. As her bad luck continues, Ange is arrested and ends up ‘cooling her heels’ in a juvenile detention facility, where she meets others and makes friends, as well as works with the ACLU to change her life for the
There are many key points taught in this novel – the most important one being the incredible amount of errors that this country is making. The fact that the U.S. is turning to the “dark side” and does need to change its ways before our children are caught in a maelstrom of violence and despair, rings through loud and clear.
Quill Says: For anyone interested in politics, environmental issues, feminism, and the next generation, this is a good read.
I'm a retired psychiatrist, single mother and activist who emigrated from Seattle to New Zealand in 2002. This followed fifteen years of intensive personal harassment by the U.S. government for my political activities. I write about this in my recent memoir The Most Revolutionary Act: Memoir of an American Refugee.
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