Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
When Jack develops an interest in something, he puts his all into it, making lists, doing research and learning all he can. When his best friend Leah decides to have plastic surgery for her sixteenth birthday, Jack is horrified—and then determined to stop her. Researching the surgery and the results, he finds that there are unscrupulous surgeons operating on the very young, and no one does anything about it. Jack organizes a protest and becomes an instant celebrity. But when someone else takes up the cause and the protest turns violent, Jack is forced to make some tough decisions.
About the author
Sarah N. Harvey is the author of ten books for children and young adults. Some of her books have been translated into Korean, German and Slovenian, none of which she speaks or reads (although she is trying to learn Italian). Her novel The Lit Report has been optioned for a feature film. She will not be in it. Sarah lives and writes in Victoria, British Columbia, where one of her goals is to get her heels to the floor in downward-facing dog. Visit www.sarahnharvey.com for more information.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
Excerpt: Plastic (by (author) Sarah N. Harvey)
I'm not alone in my obsession. I'm just more organized than most guys. I keep track of things.
"This short, quick read has a plausible conclusion and a strong but not beat-you-over-the-head-with-it message."
The Horn Book Guide
"It will provoke rich discussion: besides the ethics of enhancement surgery, Harvey explores differences between siblings' personalities, offers a realistic transsexual character, and gives Jack a chance to work through his relationship with the teenage girl he thinks of as his nongirlfriend. A good addition to collections of contemporary fiction exploring real issues."
"This is a book every teenager, especially girls, should read. In a time when our society places so much emphasis on appearances, we see teenagers making decisions about their bodies that could have catastrophic outcomes…A very quick and eye-opening read."
Musings of a Book Addict blog
"Characteristically fast paced and of high interest. Information about both the pros and the cons of plastic surgery is included without detracting from the plot. Plastic does a good job of exploring an important societal issue while telling a timely tale."
School Library Journal
"138 words for breasts, that's how many Jack knows...what a way to start a YA novel that is sure to appeal to boys!...Harvey [is] able to say a lot about the pros and cons of plastic surgery, while creating a fast-moving and compelling story that will appeal to even the most reluctant readers."
Tri State YA Book Review Committee
"A fast, funny, and interesting story about what is, perhaps, an unexpected topic for a YA novel: plastic surgery for young adults. Plastic contains interesting information on elective cosmetic surgery, including its potential complications…Recommended."
"In our hyperkinetic, disposable culture, the book Plastic is that rarity: a readable cautionary tale about responsible activism."
"Coherent and easy to read...This novel would be good for students who want to learn more about plastic surgery, especially those who want to start learning more about the risks."
"This book was very interesting...[and] relevant to life today."
Tacoma School District #10, Student Reviewer
"Embedded in this story of teenage friendship is some serious commentary on body image and the ethics of plastic surgery and teenagers...A quick read that definitely has teen appeal."
Washington State Young Adult Review Group
"Will have an adolescent boy hooked…Portrays teens in a positive light by showing readers that they are more than willing to not only help out a friend, but also protest when they feel strongly about something that is unjust. The cover will attract an audience, and the storyline will keep them reading. Recommended."
Library Media Connection