Young Adult Literature


by Laurie Halse Anderson


From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up-Kate Malone is a high school senior, an AP chemistry student, and a runner. She does her best running at night, when she outruns ghosts and can soar in the comfort of anonymity. Since her mother's death, she has taken care of her father (a minister) and her brother. She is waiting for acceptance to MIT, her mother's alma mater, and feels that her very life depends on it. Teri Litch, a typical school bully, punches her way through most situations and is filled with rage that threatens to affect everyone she encounters. When her house partially burns down, she and her little brother, Mikey, are invited by the reverend to move temporarily into his home. Teri's world is imposed upon Kate's as they become locked in some type of cataclysmic mix that alters both of their lives. Eventually readers discover that some of Teri's anger comes from being raped by her father and, when Mikey dies in a tragic accident, they learn that he was really her son. Anderson uses great chemical titles and subtitles for the short chapters. However, there is too much happening too fast and readers are left with many unanswered questions, and an ending that seems neat but unlikely. This title has a good premise and some moments of fine writing, but it lacks the depth of characterization that made Speak (Farrar, 1999) so compelling.
Lynn Bryant, Great Bridge Middle School, Chesapeake, VA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.




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-New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age