The Philosophy Resistance Squad
by Robert Grant
Milo begins the school year at his new school, one of the highest ranking schools in the world. He and his two best friends are thrilled to have been accepted into this elite school until they meet the headmaster, Dr. Pummelcrush. The older students act like mindless zombies, going to classes, eating the disgusting food, and never breaking any rules. Milo begins to suspect that they might be brainwashed. He discovers a garden hidden away on the school grounds. In the garden, he meets a teacher who used to teach philosophy (before the school banned the class because it made students think for themselves). Milo and his friends start to learn all they can about philosophy, hoping that an open mindset will help them to resist being brainwashed.
This was such a fun story! I liked the crazy school setting with all the insane rules and robot technology spying on the students and monitoring their every move.
Milo is an interesting character. I liked that he is so energetic and eager to learn. He has a creative spirit that will not be squashed by boring classes!
The plot is pretty straightforward. There are no major twists or surprises. I wasn’t sure why the plot was dragged out for so long. Milo had several opportunities to act, to jump up and shout out the truth, to attack the bad guys and save his friends, but he doesn’t do it. He bides his time, waiting for…. something. I don’t know.
The pacing is a little weird. There were several places in the story that were the right time for action, but there was nothing. They just sit around and talk.
When the children have philosophy discussions with the garden teacher, they say that they will question everything. They can’t take anything for granted. They have to follow the line of questions through a topic and discuss all the possibilities. But they don’t actually do that.
I got frustrated with the philosophy dialogue, because it is skewed in a particular direction, leading the conversation down a certain path and not really asking honest questions. It felt like that author was preaching their own ideology, instead of it being a real discussion between kids.
There are discussions about God, vegetarians, pollution, immortality, the origin of the universe, and a bunch of other things. It starts out fine but then gets skewed in the direction that the author is pushing.
Overall this was a fun book! My favorite part was the quote where Milo wrote on his paper that he wants to be a musician when he grows up. The headmaster says, “…you want to be ‘a musician’? Good grief. You must grow up and stop acting so childish. Stop fantasizing and get real.”
Haha! I’m a musician, and I found that part hilarious!
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.