The principal announces that the school is implementing uniforms, and Ian finds himself caught in a conflict. His friend Julia wants him to devise a plan to fight the decision, and the principal is determined to convince Ian the uniforms are a good idea. Ian wants nothing to do with the issue. While doing research for a social-justice class, he learns that the manufacturer of the uniforms is on the top-ten list for human-rights violations. When he tells the principal this, all he gets is a reminder that the penalty for refusing to wear the uniforms is suspension, and Ian finds himself caught in a whole new conflict—one with himself.
Also available in French.
"Walters uses Branded to raise awareness of a terrible social issue. Sweatshops are the subject of news broadcasts and articles, but until the products of these companies touch us directly, we tend to turn a blind eye. Teens will be interested in watching Ian as he struggles to make sense of opposing views on the subject and how adults often preach one thing and then practice another."
"A good addition to the hi/lo collection, this fast paced story raises social issues that relate to school and international social issues...Humor contributes to an enjoyable read and use as a possible book discussion with groups."
"The plot…moves quickly, making for a quick read. A good choice for libraries looking to add to their hi/lo collections."
"A great lesson about standing up for what you believe."
"Walters explores an interesting topic."
"A thought-provoking story with engaging characters and a well-paced plot. Many readers will enjoy Branded simply as a good read but this novel would also suit a literature circle or discussion group."
"Fast-paced and packed with thought-provoking questions as well as humour…The use of social media in organizing events and expressing opinions, as well as their shortcomings, could provoke interesting discussions on etiquette and the Internet…An inspiring and empowering read for youth living in the information age. Highly Recommended."