New Book Highlights Teen Mistreatment in Troubled Youth Programs
“Wild Thing”, a teen memoir of the mistreatment of teenage girls at so-called “behavior modification schools” in Mexico and the United States, was published by Pantheon today. Written by Alysia Jayne Isbouts, the book also frankly documents the author’s descent into a spiral of drug abuse, truancy and deceit at her Agoura, CA high school, which prompted her parents to commit her to the “teen boot camp” program.
At the time, the Casa facility numbered over 500 “delinquent” youths from the U.S. as well as places as far as Japan. Unbeknownst to Alysia’s parents, however, Casa had come to the attention of the FBI because of growing rumors of teen abuse. “Wild Thing” not only details the appalling conditions at the site, but also vividly describes the raid, conducted by the Mexican Federales and the FBI, which led to its shutdown.
The book then movingly follows Alysia’s inner turmoil as she struggles between her desire to be reunited with her family and uncovering the roots of her destructive behavior. She voluntarily submits to Ivy Ridge Academy in Ogdensburg, New York, where if anything the treatment was worse. Living under its severe regime, Alysia gradually discovers the courage to confront herself and begin the long road back to the loving arms of her family.
“It has taken me six years to be able to speak about it,” says Alysia Jayne, now 24, who lives in Newbury Park, CA. “Before I lost myself to drugs, I was a popular varsity cheerleader at my high school and an award-winning gymnast. That’s why I decided to write this book, because my experience is far from unique. Thousands of girls are exposed to the same temptations on America’s high schools every day.”
Candid and humorous, “Wild Thing” is a remarkably mature memoir of teen rebelliousness and ultimate redemption. It was co-written with Alysia’s father, the National Geographic bestselling author Jean-Pierre Isbouts. The book is published by Pantheon Press of Santa Monica, CA. Worldwide rights are managed by Peter Miller of Global Lion Intellectual Property Management.
"Wild Thing", a teen memoir of the mistreatment of teenage girls at so-called "behavior modification schools" in Mexico and the United States, was published by Pantheon today.