Friday, December 24, 2010

Patch by Mucheru Njagu

Genre: YA
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 240
Book Source: Phenix & Phenix

Prince of Wales Boarding School, nestled in a serene countryside, fondly nicknamed "Patch" was responsible for turning young boys into esteemed gentlemen who would one day occupy the hallways of world government power and authority. Behind the high walls lay a secret, a secret not told until now. Led by a group of students leaders known as "Prefects" the students were subjected to untold physical and verbal abuse, intimidation, fear and bullying. No one ever questioned their authority ... until Gabriel, a freshman transfer, a "rabble", forever changed what it meant to be in PATCH.

This is one of those books with a great premise that would have benefited from further editing and polishing. Patch is a quick read so my frustration with spelling errors and incorrect word usage was short lived and the underlying message of courage and hope wasn't lost.

The story is loosely based on the personal experience of the author which raised my already heightened levels of compassion and horror at the unimaginable abuse students experienced at the hands of Prince of Wales Boarding School prefects. For a culture of abuse to be tolerated in a school and perpetrated to such a degree it must be condoned by someone of higher authority than student leaders and that is certainly the case in this 'elite' boarding school.

Gabriel is a very likeable character, he's a beacon of hope that a system can be changed, he stands up for what he believes in and I teared up the day he "found himself". A poignant ending that I wasn't expecting, well worth the read.

About the author:
Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Njaga moved to New York City after his time at Prince of Wales Boarding School. He currently lives in San Francisco with his fiancee and is working on a screenplay adaptation of Patch in addition to the book sequel.

Njaga experienced Patch from both the student and Prefect perspective - as a victim of the abusive system and one of its perpetuators. Since he understands both sides of what it means to be bullied, he is dedicated to bullying prevention by stigmatizing bullying as a cowardly act rooted in fear.

For more information on Mucheru Njaga or Patch visit

This month on The Eclectic Reader you can win a copy of Entice by Carrie Jones, or The Distant Hours by Kate Morton or The Lost Saint by Bree Despain. Check this blog post for details. Open Internationally.


  1. I don't wanna read about those horrid customs and bullying :(

  2. I don't see haw people can act like that.....I'm glad he is bringing it out and working against bullying!

  3. Speaking out about bullying is the only way -- creating that awareness that those who do it aren't "cool" is so critical. This book sounds incredibly insightful -- but what's the deal with all the spelling errors? That would also drive me nuts!

  4. I can see why you said that this book has a good premise. There are so many books that tell about bullies out there but I don't read much that tell about those who stood up against the bully.

    I'm fairly surprise that I haven't heard of this book up till now!

    P.S: Just in case you didn't do an Xmas post this evening, I would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas. I always imagine a white Christmas, so I entirely unsure how it feels like celebrating the holiday on Summer. Have a really good time over there =)


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