Ceejay McDermott has always worshipped her big brother Bobby, idolizing his recklessness and daring sense of fun. Bobby is b-a-d-d in every sense of the word, and Ceejay is proud that she takes after him. The fun is soon over when Bobby gets into a little too much trouble and finds himself enlisted in the army to avoid jail time. Ceejay can’t wait for her hero to come home from Iraq to rejoin the family, but their reunion isn’t quite what she had in mind. For reasons kept secret by her brother, Bobby is home early and he’s not the same boy he once was. His charisma and good nature have vanished somewhere overseas. Now, increasingly self-destructive and angry, Bobby is heavily drinking and using drugs heavily, fighting, and choosing to spend his time with a mentally disabled war protester instead of his own beloved little sister. Her brother’s stressful homecoming has Ceejay doubting everything she thought she knew about herself. Now it’s up to her to take charge and get her family back on track, even as Bobby is trying to push them all away. What happens when our heroes aren’t the people we think they are? How can Ceejay save Bobby from himself? Who is she without her role model? A dark and suspenseful look at trauma, family, and shattered expectations, Tim Tharp’s Badd is gritty, heartfelt, and realistic and will appeal to mature readers.

320 pages   Ages 14 and up

Recommended by Molly Crumbley, Librarian Maryland USA

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