Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears

American High School #4

Young Adult - Social Issues
252 Pages
Reviewed on 07/06/2020
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Author Biography

Bruce Ingram has spent a lifetime exploring the woods and waterways of his native Southwest Virginia. He is a devoted fisherman, birder, hunter, and paddler, sharing his love of the outdoors in five books and more than 2,000 magazine articles. A veteran high school English teacher, Ingram lives with his wife Elaine in Troutville, Virginia. They have two children and two grandchildren. The Outdoor Writers Association of America has honored Bruce six times for writing excellence. Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears is the fourth and final installment in his American High School series of YA novels.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears: American High School, #4 is a coming of age novel for young and new adults written by Bruce Ingram. While this is the fourth book in Ingram’s series, he provides enough background information to allow this book to be read and enjoyed as a standalone. It was the final year of high school for seniors Luke, Elly, Marcus, and Mia. Luke was amazed that not only was he graduating, he was also going to go on to college the following year. Now he wanted to get his teaching certificate and teach high school. Elly also had plans to become a teacher after college on the elementary school level. Marcus’s summer job as a museum scribe helped him realize that he had an interest in history. Mia had been working hard at her studies, and her plans for becoming valedictorian and going on to college and then medical school seemed to be coming through.

Bruce Ingram’s Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears: American High School, #4 is well-written and enthralling. I particularly enjoyed how the author presents each of his characters in the first-person, letting them tell their stories directly to the reader. I also loved following them through the seasons and holidays of that final year of high school and seeing how they resolve issues important to them. Ingram’s characters are well-defined and credible, and they are presented to the reader in a way that makes them approachable and relatable. The passing of the school year keeps the reader involved and wondering what happens next, and I found myself looking forward to time spent reading this book and getting to know the characters in it. Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears: American High School, #4 is most highly recommended.

Mamta Madhavan

Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears (American High School #4) by Bruce Ingram is an engaging story that will take readers back to their high school days as it chronicles the lives of four friends, Luke, Elly, Marcus, and Mia during their final and fourth year of high school. Apart from their choice of subjects and classes, the book takes readers through the usual high school scenes of date nights, Christmas, Valentine's Day weekend, tests, Prom night, and graduation. The four of them are eager to pass and yet at the same time sad at the very thought of losing each other.

Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears perfectly captures the journey of high school students, how each one of the characters, though friends, has a different outlook and how they perceive the situations and experiences they encounter in class, at home, and outside. The book will make students realize struggles are going to happen, bad things are going to occur, dreams might get interrupted, and how important it is not to be discouraged when things do not work out as planned and to continue following their dreams. The characters are well portrayed, making them real and relatable to readers. I enjoyed the character portrayal of the four students, Luke, Marcus, Elly, and Mia. Bruce Ingram has made them real, relatable, and memorable and they are all so unique and different in their own way. It is a good book for light reading and high school students will enjoy the story of these four friends, their high school life, and how they coped with all the happenings in their lives.

K.C. Finn

Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears: American High School is a work of fiction in the social issues and interpersonal drama sub-genres, and was penned by author Bruce Ingram. Written as the fourth and final book of the American High School series, we find the four central characters - Elly, Marcus, Mia, and Luke - at the last hurdles that will see them leave high school and head out into the big wide world. As college looms and the troubles of the past begin to settle, new challenges and fears are on the horizon. Are they truly ready for what waits beyond the safety of the regime of an American high school? What results is an emotive farewell, but one that seems hopeful and heartbreaking at the same time.

Author Bruce Ingram presents a realistic and dedicated viewpoint for young adult readers on twelfth-grade life, and also a nostalgic look back for older readers who will surely remember the stresses of such a time. I found Mia’s journey particularly moving as hers was a story that really reflected my own. I believe readers will find that all four of the central figures are penned with emotional intelligence and feature realistic qualities that they can relate to on different levels. The experiences that they go through and refer to are not graphic but are certainly not censored and discuss real issues and difficulties which prove that the world is not all roses. Overall, I would highly recommend Twelfth Grade Hopes and Fears for fans of the existing series and beyond.