Syd, a proxy for the wealthy and higher class Knox, must be punished for each infraction of the many societal rules that Knox simply refuses to obey. Each of the boys has his place in this version of dystopia and yet somehow, against the odds, the gap begins to bridge and a human connection is made. The results are stunning and threaten to destroy the underpinnings of the entire society in which the boys live. Life, as these characters know it, may never be the same.
With its high tech futuristic setting and its “Whipping Boy” theme, Proxy is a story that will be long remembered after the final page has been turned. It is filled with action, tension and much food for thought and the moral dilemmas and choices the characters face make this a great book for discussion in a group setting. The Jewish angle is a surprising, unexpected twist and global issues such as greed, empathy and the struggle for power are addressed with bold strokes but with nuance and shading, as well.
A fast paced adventure that is also a study in human nature, this book is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Michal Hoschander Malen is the editor of Jewish Book Council’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A former librarian, she has lectured on topics relating to literacy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.