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The Ahimsa Club

By Rebecca Burke

A shocking school assembly opens Valerie's eyes to the horror of animal abuse. But what can a 14-year-old girl do to protect animals? Why even try to attack such a huge problem?

With others from her school, she forms the Ahimsa Club -- "Ahimsa" an Indian word meaning "the avoidance of causing harm to other living things."

As its first action, the Ahimsa Club spearheads a Pledge to Veg campaign at school, gaining enemies and some unexpected allies. Their Save the Strays campaign pits them against some of the town's most powerful interests when they discover a connection between stray animals and local laboratories. Rumors--some vicious, some comical--spread like wildfire at school and around the community. Valerie risks losing her two best friends and starts to get frightening anonymous threats.

Help comes from an amazing source, a Very Famous Person, whose views unfortunately also whip up the controversy.

The Ahimsa Club explores many sides of this issue, but Valerie never wavers. Someone has to protect the animals. For her the choice is easy-- "You cannot come down on the side of cruelty."

This novel is geared to young adult readers but also anyone who is interested in the dynamics of a group devoted to animal welfare activism.

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