The Degenerates


Product Details

$18.99  $17.47
Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.3 X 1.2 inches | 0.8 pounds

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About the Author

J. Albert Mann is the author of several middle grade and young adult novels, including The Degenerates and What Every Girl Should Know. She has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts in writing for children and young adults. She prefers books with unhappy endings to happy ones. Visit her at


"The author portrays the movement's prejudice, racism, and violence with brutal realism; an author's note explains that the doctors' dehumanizing dialogue comes verbatim from real medical notes. Crucially, she reminds readers that such prejudice still exists. . . . Respectful, unflinching, and eye-opening."--Kirkus Reviews
"Mann details the casual cruelty of the administration and the blatant racism and prejudice (one girl is African American, another physically disabled) underlying their medical assessments, but she interjects the bleakness with glimmers of hope, from Maxine and Alice's relationship to London's caring for the institute's babies to Rose's resilience even in the face of serious illness. . . . Somberly poignant."--BCCB
"This is the kind of historical fiction that not only depicts a cruel, horrifying reality but also the strength and courage of the people who had to endure it. Mann effectively renders the details of a time and place, but more important, has created four complex characters who draw strength and inspiration from one another. With its examination of disability, prejudice, abuse, and resiliency, this will change the way readers look at how labels are used, as well as how they're wielded."--Booklist