For 13-year-old Fisher Haskins, school is a torturous waste of time, and not just because he can’t shake his reputation as the nice-but-dumb kid. After his evening job washing boats on The Row, he barely has time to scarf down leftovers, get through his mind-numbing homework, and catch a few ZZZs.
Until recently, staying busy had worked just fine to distract Little Fish from facing life’s big quandaries, like, are some people destined to be eternal losers? Who decides what “winning” even means? And why does he feel like a walking magnet for every asshole on the island? If his dad were around, maybe he’d have some answers. Or would he be too wasted to care?
In her clever debut novel, Smack poignantly reminds us that when young people have the time and space to live in the world and be themselves, they discover answers to important questions that many adults have long since given up even asking. RIGGED draws us into Fisher’s world, compelling us to ask: Does school really matter? What does a true community look like? What happens when we focus on what we are passionate about? And why are relationships so damn complicated?
– Bria Bloom, Executive Director, Alliance for Self-Directed Education