Feral Youth

Feral Youth

For Ages: 14 - 99
Ten teens are left alone in the wilderness during a three-day survival test in this multi-authored novel led by award-winning author Shaun David Hutchinson.

At Zeppelin Bend, an outdoor-education program designed to teach troubled youth the value of hard work, cooperation, and compassion, ten teens are left alone in the wild. The teens are a diverse group who come from all walks of life, and were all sent to Zeppelin Bend as a last chance to get them to turn their lives around. They’ve just spent nearly two weeks hiking, working, learning to survive in the wilderness, and now their instructors have dropped them off eighteen miles from camp with no food, no water, and only their packs, and they’ll have to struggle to overcome their vast differences if they hope to survive.

Inspired by The Canterbury Tales, the characters in Feral Youth, each complex and damaged in their own ways, are enticed to tell a story (or two) with the promise of a cash prize. The stories range from noir-inspired revenge tales to mythological stories of fierce heroines and angry gods. And while few of the stories are claimed to be based in truth, they ultimately reveal more about the teller than the truth ever could.

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Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to

Feral Youth

By Shaun David Hutchinson and nine other powerhouse authors

About the Book

In the Wyoming wilderness, a diverse group of ten deeply troubled teens navigate their way back to their base camp at Zeppelin Bend, a three-day journey that tests much more than their survival skills. As power struggles develop, alliances form and relationships loosely take hold. To pass the time, they are invited to a storytelling competition, taking turns sharing stories that blur the lines between reality and fiction.

Shaun David Hutchinson and nine other notable authors weave together the lives of these emotionally complex characters who have become isolated from the world, vulnerable to both the elements and to the wilderness inside themselves. The tales they tell give a range of insights and interpretations of rules we must follow to survive in society, but it is really a survival of the spirit that drives them to continue. Each storyteller gives voice to issues and themes that are relatable to contemporary youth, heartbreaking struggles marked by attitudes and behaviors that cause far-reaching suffering and destruction. Can an entire society be witnessed in a cross section of troubled teens?

Discussion Questions

1. Gio’s first person narrative as an observer affects how we experience other characters and events. Did you find his voice reliable? Which n see more

More Books from this Author

The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza
At the Edge of the Universe
We Are the Ants
Violent Ends
The Complication
The Adjustment
All in Pieces
The Epidemic
Anatomy of a Murderer
Willful Machines
Tremontaine
Promise of Shadows
Vengeance Bound
Our Stories, Our Voices

About the Authors

Shaun David Hutchinson
Photograph by Chris Piedra

Shaun David Hutchinson

Shaun David Hutchinson is the author of numerous books for young adults, including The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried, The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, At the Edge of the Universe, and We Are the Ants. He also edited the anthologies Violent Ends and Feral Youth and wrote the memoir Brave Face, which chronicles his struggles with depression and coming out during his teenage years. He lives in Seattle, where he enjoys drinking coffee, yelling at the TV, and eating cake. Visit him at ShaunDavidHutchinson.com or on Twitter @ShaunieDarko.

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Suzanne Young
Photo credit Dawn Goei

Suzanne Young

Suzanne Young is the New York Times bestselling author of The Program series. Originally from Utica, New York, Suzanne moved to Arizona to pursue her dream of not freezing to death. She is a novelist and an English teacher, but not always in that order. Suzanne is also the author of Girls with Sharp SticksAll in PiecesHotel for the Lost, and several others novels for teens. Visit her online at AuthorSuzanneYoung.com or follow her on Instagram at @AuthorSuzanneYoung.

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Tim Floreen
Photograph by Portraits to the People

Tim Floreen

Tim Floreen majored in English at Yale and earned a Master’s degree in creative writing at Boston University. He now lives in San Francisco with his partner and their two cats. Willful Machines is his first novel. You can find him online at TimFloreen.com or on Twitter at @TimFloreen.

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Alaya Dawn Johnson

Alaya Dawn Johnson is the author of six novels for adults and young adults. Her novel The Summer Prince was longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Her most recent, Love Is the Drug, won the Andre Norton Award. Her short stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, including Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Interzone, Subterranean, Zombies vs. Unicorns, and Welcome to Bordertown. In addition to the Norton, she has won the Cybils and Nebula Awards and been nominated for the Indies Choice Award and Locus Award. She lives in Mexico City.

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Justina Ireland
Photograph by Eric Ireland

Justina Ireland

Justina Ireland enjoys dark chocolate, dark humor, and is not too proud to admit that she’s still afraid of the dark. She lives with her husband, kid, and dog in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Vengeance Bound and Promise of Shadows. Visit her at JustinaIreland.com.

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