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Praise

Crank CoverReading THE DEAD INSIDE is like watching a great horror flick. You really want to cover your eyes, but you just can’t! Compelling. Scary. Totally real.—Ellen Hopkins, New York Times Bestselling Author of CRANK
 The Dead Inside is a Junior Library Guild selection!
“Etler’s intense, unforgettable memoir uncovers the lies behind Straight, Inc., a teen rehab facility that was supposed to give teens help. Instead, it gave them hell.”—Junior Library Guild
The Dead Inside is a School Library Journal Popular Pick!
“The writing is fast paced…[readers] will find this account impossible to put down…Verdict: a must-read memoir”—School Library Journal
“Etler channels her younger self’s voice with pitch-perfect verisimilitude as Cyndy goes from wide-eyed disbelief to acquiescence, having finally found a place where she feels like she belongs. An epilogue offers a redemptive conclusion, and an author’s note provides chilling context for Straight’s history and Cyndy’s story. Raw and Absorbing, Etler’s voice captivates”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“Etler weaves her story with conviction, self-deprecating humor, and hard facts…Readers will come to respect the fighter that Etler is and the advocate she became for other teens in similar situations”—Booklist

 

 “[An] unnerving and heartrending memoir…readers may be stunned that a place like Straight could exist, let alone that a parent would willingly send a child there”—Publisher’s Weekly

 

Mercy PilkingtonYou don’t so much read THE DEAD INSIDE as you watch, through a dark and hazy window, as a child’s soul is destroyed. There’s nothing you can do but cheer for her silently and hope she survives. Abused by her stepfather then betrayed by her own mother, Etler describes sixteen months of physical and mental torture in a government-endorsed facility that knew just how to skirt the system and avoid detection. Even more painful? The girl in these pages didn’t need the so-called help Straight had to offer. All she needed was for society to do its job protecting children. A must-read for parents, teachers, counselors, and students.—Mercy Pilkington, 2010 National Juvenile Detention Association Teacher of the Year
Prepare yourself. On page one, a young Etler takes your hand and she doesn’t let go. This naïve girl, struggling to deal with a harsh home life, is sent to a drug rehabilitation center, a place where she has no business. Though condemned to sixteen months of darkness—figurative and literal—Etler shines a light on the controversial treatment of “problem children.” You won’t be able to put THE DEAD INSIDE down, and you sure as hell won’t root this hard for anyone else, ever again.—Rosella Eleanor LaFevre, Editor-in-Chief, M.L.T.S. Magazine
Surviving Straight Inc., the DocumentaryWe, the survivors of Straight, wish we could make you understand what it was like. That we could put you in our skin, take you back in time, and sit you down in group. So you could motivate all day. And hear the screams. And feel the loss of yourself.  We want to convey the self-betrayal, the omnipotent, alien reality of Straight Inc. In THE DEAD INSIDE, Etler honors the many of us who still can’t talk about it, and the many that were unable to survive. Somehow, Etler tells her story without making it about her.—Marcus Chatfield, Author, Institutionalized Persuasion