Prince of Pot

216p. Groundwood. Sept. 2017. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781554989447.
Gr 10 Up—Isaac Mawson lives with his family in the woods of British Columbia on a "grow-op," an illegal marijuana farm that is so off the grid that his best friend is a habituated bear and there are no roads leading up to his cabin. A senior in high school, Isaac's post-graduation plans are to continue the family business. Then Isaac meets Sam, a loud, gregarious schoolmate who draws unwanted attention to Isaac's way of life, and everything changes. Isaac starts to dream about what life outside the grow would look like and even considers going to art school. But leaving his aging parents to fend for themselves is a nonstarter; perhaps Sam could live in the woods with him? In some ways, where this story is headed is no surprise: readers will know that Sam is trouble even before learning that her father is a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But the unraveling of Isaac's carefully cultivated family life is filled with anguish and some harsh truths. Kyi's description of Isaac's impossible situation is never dull, and the narrative is propelled forward by a brisk plot, complicated three-dimensional characters, realistic dialogue, and a unique setting. The bucolic woods are filled with danger, both natural and man-made; how the flawed but earnest Isaac navigates his way through them will determine his future.
VERDICT An engaging story set in an atypical locale that will universally appeal to teens; a strong purchase.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing