Can a young man leave his traumatic past behind him when he starts a new school? By author Tyler Beauchamp
Sixteen-year-old Will Horner suffers from PTSD as a result of childhood trauma, and experiences episodic psychosis and hallucinations. Following an incident at school, when he experienced a psychotic episode in front of other students, he begins a new term at a new high school. As a budding filmmaker, Will and his parents think the Pinehurst Academy, a local arts school, will be the perfect fit. But, Will hasn’t been behind the camera since the incident at his previous school, as film making has been known to trigger memories of past traumatic events, making it difficult for him to know what is real in his world.
Will soon settles into school, and for the first time in a long time, he is behind the camera again. He starts to film an end of year movie with his new friends, and hopes to win the grand prize at the Pinehurst’s Arts Night. Will starts to feel comfortable behind the camera, and a sense of belonging with his new school friends. He is determined to put his past behind him and hides his mental health from his friends. But will the process of filmmaking trigger his psychosis? And can Will hide his traumatic past from his new friends?
Freeze Frame, by Tyler Beauchamp, is an engaging and insightful coming-of-age novel, about a young man struggling with childhood trauma, PTSD and mental health. Tyler Beauchamp captures Will’s state of mind beautifully, and the dilemma he faces as he attempts to fit in, but is consumed by fear that his mental health will be exposed. The book highlights the stigma that still remains around mental health today, and the many pressures that young people face. Sadly, Will’s story is not uncommon, and many young readers will relate to his journey. With a list of helpful resources at the end of the book, this book will provide much needed support for those who may be experiencing similar issues.
Star rating: 5 Stars
Summary: An engaging and insightful coming-of-age novel, about a young man struggling with childhood trauma, PTSD and mental health.