Future School

Walk Like Lions

Young Adult - Action
224 Pages
Reviewed on 05/15/2017
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Author Biography

I've been writing stories for over 20 years, which is about as long as I've been teaching. I love going to the theater to watch movies. When I watched movies like The Hunger Games and Divergent, I was inspired to come up with my own book with the same kind of suspense and action.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

In Future School: Walk like Lions by Eric Patterson, twelve-year-old Bridgette Swanson’s future changes dramatically when she receives a full scholarship to study at the esteemed Las Vegas School of Excellence, an institute that claims to have the key to unlocking the hidden potential of the mind. In spite of the fact that she’d be missing her best friend, Bridgette knows she can’t miss out on this opportunity, which is an honor for her family. But things in her new school are not just the way she’d have expected. The school does have the drug that helps to enhance the brain, but it doesn’t work in the same way for everyone, and many children suffer the damaging effects of the drug. Then Bridgette and her friends, Janice and George, get the strong feeling that something sinister is happening and they want to find out what it is. Can they uncover the truth without getting caught up in a deadly game of intrigue and lies?

Short chapters, each packed with a lot of drama, each composed of paragraphs that are masterfully broken down, create a sense of urgency and suspense that is intoxicating. The story starts powerfully; from the moment that Bridgette’s brother interrupts her and her friend to announce gleefully that the letters have arrived, the reader is pulled in and wants to know what it is all about. But there is no turning back, no pause, no escape as the reader gets enmeshed in the surprising and dramatic moments of the story. The characters are great, young and courageous, and readers will love to discover their ingenuity and creativity. Eric Patterson knows how to combine the sense of danger with the itch to know in his readers to create a plot that is gripping and that begs the reader to read on. Future School: Walk like Lions is the kind of book you never read in two sittings.

Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer)

Future School (Walk Like Lions) by Eric Patterson is a stunning young adult novel about a young girl named Bridgette. Bridgette receives a full scholarship to a famous school, but isn't happy about it, because if she attends, she would have to leave her best friend behind. However, she can't pass up the opportunity, so her family moves all the way to Las Vegas. There, she becomes friends with a boy named George and a girl named Janice. At school, in their mind over matter class, they are injected with a brain serum that allows them to move things with their minds. Except it doesn't work on everyone. Bridgette gets the skill immediately, but her friends aren't as quick. But for other students, the brain serum drives them insane. Will the three friends find out what the school is up to?

I really enjoyed reading Future School (Walk Like Lions) by Eric Patterson. The book is very well written and descriptive. The book has some funny parts, as well as many scenes full of action and suspense. I was hooked by the first page and I never wanted to put the book down. The book is a real page turner and will keep the reader on the edge of their seat. The book is filled with drama and is very exciting. There are many likeable characters, like Bridgette, who is always nice to everyone, and Janice, who shows that people can change. I liked that the book has a few underlying messages, like the importance of kindness. I would definitely recommend this book to readers.

Lisa McCombs

When Bridgette is admitted into The Las Vegas School of Excellence, the last thing on her mind is the school’s theme of 'educating the bright minds of tomorrow.' She would much rather be at home in Tacoma, Washington with her best friend Sara. She realized that she would only be twelve once in her life and making the most of that fact takes precedence. But her parents need her to succeed almost as much as they need the security of the jobs and the new home that the school promises. Bridgette is special, of that there is no doubt.

Anticipating an environment of super brains and elite personalities, Bridgette is shocked to find the same old stereotypes. Even more upsetting is the attitude of the instructors at her new school, especially that of her Mind over Matter teacher, Ms. Leadbetter. There is obviously something off with the woman, and Bridgette soon discovers that is up to her to solve the problem. With the development of her new “powers” and the insistence of her new friends, Bridgette discovers the reason for Leadbetter’s attitude in the dark secrets of The Las Vegas School of Excellence.

Future School: Walk Like Lions by Eric Patterson is an interesting mix of futuristic fiction and realistic Christian values. The reader can assign a personal level to the metaphorical meaning behind Patterson’s prose. While the main character struggles with her own interpretation of the purpose of life, she realizes the power behind a life of goodness.

Kayti Nika Raet

In Future School: Walk Like Lions by Eric Patterson, twelve-year-old Bridgette Swanson receives a full scholarship to the most prestigious and exclusive school in America. It's a chance of a lifetime for her and her family who have been struggling financially for several years. The Las Vegas School of Excellence, or as it's known more colloquially -- Future School -- boasts of teaching the best and the brightest, but there seems to be a dark undercurrent to some of the classes, classes that claim to unlock the mind's limitless potential, classes where only the strong survive and those that don't make the cut are viciously culled. While Bridgette seems to be on track to become the school's star pupil, her friends, George and Janice, are having a harder time, but all three of them are determined to discover the truth and save not only themselves, but their whole town.

Future School: Walk Like Lions by Eric Patterson is a competent middle grade novel with echoes of James Patterson's Maximum Ride series. There's a Christian undercurrent throughout and the novel is very clean with Bridgette trusting in her faith in God during her trials and tribulations. A few of the secondary characters edge towards stereotypes, speaking and acting in a manner that's jarring when compared to the rest of Patterson's cast. Still, anyone able to muscle past that will find themselves with an engaging page turner filled with action, mystery, and the power of friendship and forgiveness. Bridgette's interaction with her family is sweet and they seem to be super supportive of her hopes and dreams. Fans of Maximum Ride are sure to enjoy this read.

Chris Wright

I can’t stop thinking about this clever, exciting, and refreshingly different book, Future School: Walking with Lions by Eric Patterson. The setting has some similarities to fiercely competitive, dystopian, teen stories like Hunger Games. The main character, Bridgette, is compassionate and sharp like Katniss, but instead of being forced into killing decisions, Bridgette’s choices are aimed at bringing compassion and life back to victims of all sorts: broken friends with issues, frenemies, and even the most evil enemies. Her tact and transparency help get through to defensive and insecure bullies. Shockingly, she has compassion and politeness even towards misguided parents and teachers - not something you see in teen stories.
Each fast paced chapter has its surprises and leaves you curious for more. Dark, jaw dropping discoveries are met with even more unique remedies in their adventuresome quest.
Bridgette and her closest friends, George and Janice, have such enjoyable interactions together that it made me really laugh out loud. There were plenty of gripping, scary parts that required the courage of “lions” just to turn the page. And I have to admit, there were parts where my eyes were watery and tearful – in a good, manly way of course.
The author’s clever unveiling of clues and relationships always kept me guessing. It was hard to put down, hard not to talk about it, and hard not to buy copies for friends.