Prince of Pot by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
BLOOD RUNS THICK.
Interests/Topics: identity, art, environment, teenage angst, familial obligations
Curriculum Connections: English, Visual Arts
Blurb: So my aunt came home the other day and found a bear in her garage. A big one. It looked at her; she looked at it. What’s one to do, exactly, when cornered by a hungry bear in search of food? Scream: that’s what you do. Luckily for my aunt, the bear dropped to all fours and lumbered off. My aunt, of course, ran inside and slammed the door before the bear realized that she would make a tasty meal. She’s smart that way.
Isaac, in Prince of Pot, isn’t afraid of bears. In fact, he’s best friends with one. He’s raised Hazel since she was a cub, and now she’s one of the family. You know what is better than having a guard dog? Having a guard bear. No one comes near Isaac’s house in the woods, which is a good thing considering they have an illegal grow-op of weed. But it’s all normal in Isaac’s eyes. He helps out with the family’s business, keeps his head down at school, and paints in his spare time. He’s content.
But when Isaac meets Sam, a spunky, beautiful girl who takes an interest in him and his art, everything changes. Isaac wants to spend time with Sam; he starts dreaming of a future away from the grow-op and the secrets he’s forced to keep. As graduation creeps closer, Isaac becomes more and more convinced that an alternate future is possible. But when Isaac meets Sam’s father, a cop, his dreams are shattered. Worse, he’s put his family at risk. How can he abandon them when they’re at their most vulnerable?
BLOOD RUNS THICK.
Flavour: “I may not know exactly which path I’m supposed to be on, what I’m supposed to be burying and what I’m supposed to be investing, but this is not a good development. I’m in my truck with the daughter of a cop, on my way to the campground nearest my family’s grow-op. I think I’ve screwed up.” (77)
“We’re the Montagues and the Capulets and she doesn’t know it. We’re everything I’ve been taught to avoid, my entire life. She has no idea.” (87)
“I think that’s the first time I knew our family was different. That we had secrets. That we weren’t like the families in town, or the ones in books. For some reason, we were hiding. We couldn’t play fort because we were already involved in some real-life game of hide-and-seek.” (143)