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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  3,379 ratings  ·  541 reviews
"Of course, without people like us Marstens, there wouldn't be anybody to do the manual labor that makes this country run. Without penal workers, who would work the production lines, or pick the melons and peaches, or maintain the streets and parks and public lavatories? Our economy depends on prison labor. Without it everybody would have to work -- whether they wanted to ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,379 ratings  ·  541 reviews

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Feb 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, blog
My immediate thought after finishing Rash: Huh. For it is a peculiar novel. And I'm still not entirely sure what to say about it. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it. However, I think its target audience would love it. That audience is teen and preteen boys, and heaven (aka Barnes and Noble) knows there aren't enough books out there for them.

The novel is set in the not too distant future of the United States, which is now known as the USSA (United Safer States of America). In this dystopian-lite f
Duffy Pratt
Apr 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
In this dystopian satire, the USSA (the extra S is for safety or socialism) has criminalized most marginally unsafe activities. For example, you must wear a helmet and pads to walk down the street. This may seem silly, but it does not appear that law abiding citizens work. And the government has eliminated its prison system. Instead, it contracts out its prisoners to companies. Thus, criminalizing behavior has become a good profit center for the government, and it can increase safety while secur ...more
Amit Sarker
Sep 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Rash is a brilliant piece of literature written by Pete Hautman because it shows what happens in the future and also shows on the behavior of what really does happen in the future. The book is really about a teenager boy named Bo who loves running. He wants to set a school record for the 100 meter dash in sprinting but obviously has other problems. Everything changed in the United States, even the name. Now in 2050 (present time) it is called USSA. Technology and all other health circumstances i ...more
Laura Gembolis
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
somewhere between 3 and 4 stars, so I rounded up.
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In Rash by Pete Hautman, the main character, Bo, lives in the author's interesting perspective of late twenty-first century America. Being kind-of a rebel, Bo spends most of his life running: From being caught doing something robot controllers won't like, being in trouble with his family, being in trouble with his girlfriend, avoiding trouble he's already in and avoiding trouble he knows is yet to come. He spends most of his life running, physically and metaphorically, and in a way, so do I.
Sep 28, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: adolescent literature lovers
Can you imagine a world where safety procedures rule…literally? Dropping fruit, failing to take medicine, and walking without a “safety helmet” is actually illegal is the late 21st century U.S.S.A. (The extra “S” stands for safety.) Not surprisingly, up to one-third of adult citizens are in corporate-owned prisons at any one point of time. After all, someone has to do the “dangerous” jobs that keep the country and economy going. (Did you ever realize how dangerous it is to produce frozen pizzas? ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fans of dystopian fiction
Welcome to the future: a United States so safe that it's been renamed the USSA (United Safe States of America). Here everything from football to skateboarding to drinking has been banned. Walking down the street requires protective pads and a safety helmet. Everyone's safe and happy. Or at least that's the theory. Rash by Pete Hautman tells the story of Bo Marsten who doesn't exactly fit into this cowardly new world. He causes a skin rash outbreak at his school and finds himself packaging pizza ...more
Sep 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 8th-10th grader
Recommended to Andy by: no one
Just read this... great YA lit... fast and brave new worldish. Took about 3 and 1/2 hours to get through. Fun stuff.
Tyler Wetzel
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Carson Kester
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
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Cristian G
May 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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Jan 12, 2021 added it
I liked a lot about the book Rash by Pete Hautman but there were some events I dislike about the book but it was mainly just things in the book not about it. I like how something can always happen and I never know what will happen and it’s not all good endings in the book so it is realistic

It starters with him living a normal life then he goes to school and starts getting in trouble and he ends up getting in a fight with the kids that were getting him in trouble and it gets him sent to prison t
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Student Name: Kaleb Tedesko Date Submitted: 5/29/19
Book Title: Rash Lexile:730

Personal Response: I think this is a great book and very interesting. I wish the author made a second book. I like the way the author writes his books. I hope he writes more books like this one.

Plot: In the beginning of the book, Bo Marsten and his family is introduced. Bo really likes to run and he keeps trying to beat the record. He gets into a lot of trouble. He blames it on his family past. He is then accused of sp
Jacob Doede
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Personal Response
I really enjoyed the book Rash. I liked that the plot was based in the future but had things related to today. How the characters developed through the story really caught my attention and made me want to read more.

Plot Summary
Bo Marsten gets into a lot of trouble at school. He is in big trouble almost every day and has to talk to the principal all of the time. The principle says that Bo gets one more chance or he’s off to a work camp. Bo punches a kid and gets sent off to Canad
Paola L.
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Rash by Pete Hautman. I, however, did not like the ending to this book. The author left the reader hanging. Bo’s final decision was never addressed, which frustrated me. Overall, the author did a splendid job at writing this book. I was hooked onto the thought-provoking and suspenseful plot line. This book was thought-provoking because Pete Hautman portrayed the perspective of the antiseptic future. It made me open my eyes to what could happen based
Oct 01, 2013 rated it really liked it

The novel, "RASH", By Pete Hautman is based on a fictional world in the future with safety being the top priority in society. Laws and restrictions get out of hand and are taken way too far. It gets to the point where you get thrown in jail just for being overweight. The main character, Bo, is on Levor, which is a pill that gives him extra time to react to a dangerous situation. For example, one of these situations would be verbally assaulting another human. Bo calls Kahlos, the popular jerk of
Nathan Togstad
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Rash is an amazing book that takes a look at the possible future of the United States and all the weird laws and procedures that people will enact for their own safety. In the year 2070, the United Safer States of America now relies on its massive penal system for the bulk of its work force, public service and and even big corporations are paying the government to use inmates as factory workers. The book follows Bo Marsten and his family that have a large history of violent tendency. With extrem ...more
Jasen Bruzek
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Karin Perry for

Picture, if you will, life in the year 2076. You are living in The United Safer States of America and things such as obesity, verbal abuse, and dangerous activities are against the law. The legal driving age is twenty-six. Even sports such as football are illegal. Sports that are allowed are hindered due to all the safety gear the participants are required to wear. This is the world that sixteen-year-old Bo Marsten inhabits.

Bo has inherited a bit of a
Austin Baehnman
Oct 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book “Rash” by Pete Hautman is an exciting action filled book that I think would be fun for everyone to read. I think this book is pretty good, but it wasn't what I expected. What I was expecting was more like a “Hatchet” type book, but what I got was a futuristic society that is crazy about safety. When someone puts another person’s life in danger they are sent to a work camp for a number of years. This ties into the main character and his family because the men in the family are known for ...more
Easton Groskreutz
Sep 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 16, 2013 added it
The book Rash is about a boy named Bo Marsten and it takes place in the year 2074.Bo comes from a long line of people in his family who have anger issues and Bo had already had fights with kids in his school. Now Bo has started to spread a rash through the school. Bo was forced to go to a prison in the tundra surrounded hungry polar bears where he was forced to make and eat pizza everyday. A few months later Bo and his roommate Rhino became gold shirts and where apart of a illegal football team ...more
Dec 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book would make a really interesting and good movie.
Aug 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a dystopian sports story.
Bo is a 16 year old living in the USSA - the United Safer States of America. In the USSA, everything dangerous is illegal. Football, french fries, aggressive language...
Bo is a runner on his high school track & field team. Runners in the USSA wear padding all over their bodies and run on a padded field. As a result, the running times are much longer than what we are used to today.
Bo's running rival is also encroaching on Bo's girlfriend. And when he is push
Sep 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I read the book “Rash” by Pete Hautman. It was an interesting book about the future. This book was written like it was present day, but what would be in the future for us. Unlike other books that have flying cars and science fiction, it was a normal life just years later. Obviously things were different but were realistic.

The book takes place about one hundred years ahead of our time now. So it calls our time the olden days. The USSA is where Bo, the main character lives. They are not aloud t
Drew V
Nov 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Rash; The Guide to Finding Yourself

If you were not allowed to eat french fries, own large dogs, or even play your favorite sport how would you react? If your favorite things were outlawed because they were deemed unsafe how would this change your life? In the futuristic society that Bo Marsten lives in, this is the case for him. These limiting laws can really affect a person a lot and for Bo, they do. As society seems to be teaming up against him, Bo starts to question a lot of choices in his li
Josh Johnson
Mar 06, 2020 rated it liked it
The Characters
The Main character in the book was Bo Marsten. Other characters in the book include Karlohs Mink, Hammer and Rhino. My favorite character was Bo. "I don't want your disgusting dog-anus mouth anywhere near her, understand?"(Hautman 2007). Because of his crazy temper and his perseverance. Bo reminds me of myself and I feel that I can connect to him in many different ways. He loves sports and is very competitive at the same time. In his first weeks in prison his main concern was safet
Oct 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who likes alot of action
Recommended to Jonathan by: a libarian
This book starts out with a kid named Bo, he's driven to be the best at running but also has a very bad temper. A tauting rival at school ends up pushing Bo to physically and verbally lash out at him which ends him up in jail. The book takes place in the future and so you can pretty much go to jail for any kind of violence. Luckily in jail a friend named bork who is a artificial intelligence that Bo was working on for a science project locates him in jail and acts as a lawyer to get him out of j ...more
Logan Erdmann
Dec 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really like this book. This book takes place in the future and is about a young man named Bo Marsten. The country is run by the penile system and almost half of the population has served time. The country uses the prisoners for free work and to produce products. Bo’s brother and father are both serving time so he remains at home with his mom and grandpa for a short period of time. You can tell that Bo will serve time because of his temper.

The main characters are Bo, the Marsten family, Rhino,
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Pete Hautman is the author of Godless, which won the National Book Award, and many other critically acclaimed books for teens and adults, including Blank Confession, All-In, Rash, No Limit, and Invisible. Mr. Was was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Pete lives in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visit him at

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