The Battle for Tomorrow: A Fable
Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall
Strategic Book Group (2011)
Reviewed by Madeleine Sullivan (age 18) for Reader Views (12/11)
“The Battle for Tomorrow” by Dr. Stuart Jeanne Bramhall is narrated by Angela (Ange), who has had to deal with lots of adult-level responsibilities in her sixteen years. In her thirteenth year, her mom had a stroke on her right side and lost speech and most mobility. Also at thirteen, Ange had her first abortion. Now, at sixteen, she is getting her second abortion, and while she accepts that her relationship with the 23-year-old political activist is over, Ange is totally convinced of the need for activism.
In fact, Ange is willing to give up her goth-personality for a more responsible looking personality, and move to Washington, D.C. so that she can attend more rallies, particularly a large one later in the fall. Ange, at only sixteen, has some problems on her own, but manages living in a hostel, working at a grocery.
As she attends civil disobedience trainings and starts to lead trainings herself, Ange struggles to lead and interact with adults when they know she’s underage. Additionally, the protocol for dealing with a minor in the event of arrest is problematic and bureaucratic for a minor without a guardian to call upon.
Throughout the book, Ange learns to personally handle her own (temporary) “age-deficiency” and learns how to interact with adults in a mature and responsible way. She also challenges societies’ methods for handling minors, fighting for her right to live independently, without a legal guardian.
Dr. Bramhall’s writing flowed well. Written in first-person narrative, almost stream-of-consciousness style, “The Battle for Tomorrow” used the technique well. Ange’s voice was well-defined and clear. Dr. Bramhall captured the voice of a scared teenager who is still figuring herself out very well.
Although I didn’t agree with some of Ange’s political leanings (e.g., socialism), I admired the passion Ange exhibited, and the resolve she had to act on her beliefs and to see change happen. This inspired me to strive harder to stand up for my beliefs, even in ways that might not be comfortable.
I was also fascinated by the lifestyles I might not normally be exposed to – of living in a hostel, of marching and blockading roads – and I thought the book well-exposed the personal rationales behind any extremist movement.
Although I really enjoyed this book, I would only recommend this book to older readers, as it dealt with mature themes. That said, I would highly recommend “The Battle for Tomorrow” – it was an inspiring and insightful look at political change and the struggle for minors.