Lockdown: Escape From Furnace by Alexander Gordon Smith
If you’re looking for a fast-paced, hang on to the edge of your seat, scary and exciting book, Lockdown is the title for you! In simple, straight-forward prose, Smith tells the story of Alex, who is framed for the murder of his best friend and sent to the Furnace Penitentiary on a life sentence without parole. Ever since teenaged gangsters went on killing rampage over what it now known as Summer of Slaughter, there has been a zero tolerance policy on youth crime. When they built the maximum security, underground Furnace prison, the television news shows were full of shocking and fear-inducing pictures. Even though Alex was a petty thief, he never believed he could end up there.
It turns out the Furnace is so much worse than anyone could imagine. The boys are fed slop that’s made out of blended garbage. The black-suited, giant-sized guards are incomparably cruel, willing to kill an inmate rather than put up with defiant attitudes. There are huge skinless dogs, who when let loose on the inmates act like rabid animals before they eat the boy for lunch. And the gangs…let’s just say that what they can no longer do the people outside the prison they do with gusto inside the the unaffiliated inmates. Worst of all are the seemingly inhuman creatures with gas masks sewn to their faces who come out every so often at night and point to cells to select prisoners for some type of unspeakable experiments.
Alex knows he won’t last long, but somehow devises an escape plan with two of his fellow inmates. Little does he know that it may cost him everything to execute the plan and try to leave the Furnace behind. This is a great choice for teen readers, especially those who claim to have never read a “good” book but love action movies and video games.
The writer will be visiting Berkeley High in February. We’ll be inviting classes to come hear him talk. Watch here for more news!