Thursday, November 1, 2007
Tyrell by Coe Booth & Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
Two that I just read may be too dark for 7th grade but great anyway and worth a mention--Tyrell by Coe Booth is about a 17 yr old whose family is homeless because his dad is in prison and his mom won't work. Now with his little brother, Tyrell lives in a roach infested halfway house waiting for a better place to live. But he has lots working against him and the book really explores how he copes--drops out of school, really loyal to a girl and taking care of his brother. Tyrell wants to provide but is also overwhelmed by how to do it and so we see Tyrell spiral and try to do right for himself. Another one I read right after that was Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin---Matthew the older brother tries to shield his two sisters from their crazy, abusive mother. Nikki professes to love her children but harms them, scares them and Matthew tries to get help from a man named Murdoch who he befriends after seeing him come to the rescue in a hold-up. Matthew's love for his sisters makes him do almost anything to keep them safe. Nikki's sanity slips as she is plunged into psychosis but she really thinks she is a great mom. These two books are great survival tales and the teens are heroes despite tremendous odds.