Saturday, March 14, 2020

Book Review - The Degenerates by J. Albert Mann + Giveaway

Photo Credit - Amazon

People who attend the Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded knows it is a place where no one wants to be.  The young women who live there certainly don't want to be there. Maxine has to protect her younger sister Rose from mean attendants and older girls who like to bully the weak. Alice has to fend for herself after her brother couldn't support her because of her club foot. London was dragged to the school after one unexpected moment in her life. Each of the four girls is determined to change their fate, no matter what happens to them.

The novel was an interesting and unexpected read. Sometimes, it's hard to imagine that we make progress when we are now having "The first woman to do/win" or even a person of color to be the first. After reading this novel, I am truly glad I was born in this era, otherwise, I would surely have been deemed a moron, imbecile or idiot. It's hard to imagine what these people suffered through just because they were labeled as "different".  However, there were a few things I didn't like about the book. I wasn't fond of those endings where the reader gets to decide what happens to the characters. I wanted to know what happened to them. I wish there were more details on London's foster guardian and I wanted to know what happened to her.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion. This post may contain affiliate links which means I earn advertising and/or referral fees if you purchase an item through my link. Please note, there will be no extra charges to you. Thank you for your support.**


The Degenerates

by J. Albert Mann
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Release Date: March 17th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction

In the tradition of Girl, Interrupted, this fiery historical novel follows four young women in the early 20th century whose lives intersect when they are locked up by a world that took the poor, the disabled, the marginalized—and institutionalized them for life.
The Massachusetts School for the Feeble-Minded is not a happy place. The young women who are already there certainly don’t think so. Not Maxine, who is doing everything she can to protect her younger sister Rose in an institution where vicious attendants and bullying older girls treat them as the morons, imbeciles, and idiots the doctors have deemed them to be. Not Alice, either, who was left there when her brother couldn’t bring himself to support a sister with a club foot. And not London, who has just been dragged there from the best foster situation she’s ever had, thanks to one unexpected, life altering moment. Each girl is determined to change her fate, no matter what it takes.


J. Albert Mann is the author of six novels for children, with S&S Atheneum Books for Young Readers set to publish her next work of historical fiction about the Eugenics Movement and the rise of institutionalism in the United States. She is also the author of short stories and poems for children featured in Highlights for Children, where she won the Highlights Fiction Award, as well as the Highlights Editors’ Choice Award. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in Writing for Children and Young Adults, and is the Director of the WNDB Internship Grant Committee. 

Jennifer is represented by Kerry Sparks at Levine Greenberg Rostan Literary Agency.



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Prize: Win (1) copy of THE DEGENRATES by J. Albert Mann (US Only)
Starts: March 11th 2020
Ends: March 25th 2020

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