Review of The Chandler Legacies

The Chandler Legacies The Chandler Legacies
by Abdi Nazemian
High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    336 pp.    g
2/22    978-0-06-303932-2    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-0-06-303934-6    $9.99

Chandler Academy is a posh Connecticut boarding school with a hallowed reputation, but with a thinly veiled culture of hazing, bullying, and homophobia and zero interest in changing long-established “traditions.” The story, which mostly takes place in 1999, is revealed through the alternating narratives of five students—“townie” Beth, who is anxious about belonging; her outgoing former roommate Sarah; legacy student and budding actress Spence; Olympic hopeful Freddy; and Ramin, a newcomer from Iran, who is gay. The five protagonists are all accepted into the Circle, a selective, prestigious writing workshop. Through the Circle, the young people explore their personal truths, using the power of story to make sense of complicated emotions and forming deep bonds. When sexual misconduct by a revered teacher comes to light, it takes concerted action on the part of the Circle members to initiate change. Despite the inclusion of emotionally charged topics of physical and sexual abuse, Nazemian’s novel is an uplifting and positive coming-of-age exploration of friendship, love, and creativity and how these things can help individuals heal and set themselves free to formulate their own legacies.

From the March/April 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Luann Toth
Luann Toth

Luann Toth is a former reviews editor at School Library Journal. She holds an MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh.

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