Accelerated by Bronwen Hruska
A Novel

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In a striking debut novel, a single father and his son discover what lies beneath the gilded façade of a tony Upper East Side private school: an endemic of over-medicated children.

Every afternoon Sean Benning picks up his son, Toby, on the marble steps that lead into the prestigious Bradley School. Everything at Bradley is accelerated—3rd graders read at the 6th grade level, they have labs and facilities to rival most universities, and the chess champions are the bullies. A single dad and struggling artist, Sean sticks out like a sore thumb amongst the power-soccer-mom cliques and ladies-who-lunch that congregate on the steps every afternoon. But at least Toby is thriving and getting the best education money can buy. Or is he?
When Sean starts getting pressure from the school to put Toby on medication for ADD, something smells fishy, and it isn’t the caviar that was served at last week’s PTA meeting. Toby’s “issues” in school seem, to Sean, to be nothing more than normal behavior for an eight-year-old boy. But maybe Sean just isn’t seeing things clearly, which has been harder and harder to do since Toby’s new teacher, Jess, started at Bradley. And the school has Toby’s best interests at heart, right? But what happens when the pressure to not just keep up, but to exceed, takes hold? When things take a tragic turn, Sean realizes that the price of this accelerated life is higher than he could have ever imagined.

About Bronwen Hruska

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Bronwen Hruska, the publisher of Soho Press, has worked as a journalist and screenwriter for twenty years. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, More Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Cosmopolitan, the Village Voice, and the San Francisco Chronicle. She has sold an original screenplay to Columbia Pictures and an original television pilots to NBC, CBS, Lifetime, and Sony television. She lives in Manhattan with her two sons.
Published October 2, 2012 by Pegasus Books. 288 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Accelerated

Kirkus Reviews

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At a visit to Bradley, we witness humorless school psychologist Bev Shineman pursing Sean with missionary zeal, preaching the gospel of ADHD.

Sep 15 2012 | Read Full Review of Accelerated: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Not only is he the odd man out financially (his in-laws pay the tuition) but when the school suggests that Toby, whose behavior is “becoming an issue,” should be medicated, Sean learns that he’s one of the few parents with a child not on drugs.

Aug 13 2012 | Read Full Review of Accelerated: A Novel


Sean is pressured by the school to test and medicate Toby for a possible attention deficit disorder.

Nov 07 2012 | Read Full Review of Accelerated: A Novel

Book Reporter

Kramer meets Erin Brockovich in Bronwen Hruska's compelling, keenly observed, and fiercely funny debut novel, about a single father and his son who discover what lies beneath the facade of a tony Upper East Side private school.

Oct 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Accelerated: A Novel

Book Reporter

With the help of Sean's creative (and attractive) new teacher, Sean sets out to uncover whether --- and why --- the Bradley School might have a hidden agenda for putting Toby on this medication.

Oct 05 2012 | Read Full Review of Accelerated: A Novel

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