Breaking the Fall

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"Stanley North, a high-school sophomore, is seduced by his destructive friend Jared into joining a dangerous game: breaking into houses while the owners are home and stealing one item, 'a token, any random object, as proof' . . . Readers will hold their breath".--The Horn Book.

Desperately trying to hold together his disintegrating life, Stanley allows his friend Jared to draw him into a dangerous game of fear.

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1992 Hardcover 1st Edition, 1st Printing New in New jacket Signed by Author 131 pages with interesting dj art by Stephanie Garcia. SIGNED by Mr. Cadnum (NOT inscribed to ... anybody) on the title page. New, unread copy: I bought it new in 1992, never read it, stored it carefully over the years, only took it out to have Mr. Cadnum sign it. Other than VERY slight rubbing on the dj's back it's perfect. It has NO markings throughout, NOT an ex-library, NOT a book club, NOT a remainder, dj NOT price-clipped. Fine in Fine dj. Read more Show Less

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"Stanley North, a high-school sophomore, is seduced by his destructive friend Jared into joining a dangerous game: breaking into houses while the owners are home and stealing one item, 'a token, any random object, as proof' . . . Readers will hold their breath".--The Horn Book.

Desperately trying to hold together his disintegrating life, Stanley allows his friend Jared to draw him into a dangerous game of fear.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This chilling novel focuses upon Stanley, a high school junior who attempts to cope with the confusion and chaos pervading his life. At home, his parents' marriage is breaking up; at school, he cannot concentrate; in both places, he feels anxious and uneasy. The only time the boy feels in control of his life is during the dangerous game he and his friend Jared play (breaking into houses and taking an item that proves they were there), pushing their courage and strength to the limit while daring fate to stop them. Gripping narration portrays the depth and darkness of Stanley's struggle; his uncontrollable desire to risk everything is both terrifying and enticing. Cadnum deftly captures the nuances of the relationships between his complex and intriguing characters. Eerie, suspense-laden prose powerfully depicts the frustrating, overwhelming and often painful process of traveling from youth toward adulthood. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9-12-- Stanley is a high-school student struggling to cope with estranged parents who inhabit the same house without ever communi cating with one another or with him. Stan is caught in the middle of their dissolving mar riage, as well as being drawn between the op posite poles represented by Sky, a potential girlfriend and a link to normalcy, and by Jared, a dangerous and unstable friend with a fasci nation for death and a penchant for self-de struction. For Sky, he attempts to return to the sports that were once important to him, hum bly befriends her Samoan family, and con fronts anything that threatens her. For Jared, he joins in a dangerous game of breaking and entering occupied houses for the thrill of fear that Jared needs to feel alive and, for a time, Stanley really can't tell which of these worlds will claim him first, or forever. This is a cryptic novel that offers a rapid series of scenes and descriptions and leaves readers to draw their own assessments of characters, conclusions, and moral judgments. The situations and events are harsh and often unpleasant, and there isn't much of the standard ``happily ever after'' variety to balance them, although the story ends on what appears to be a positive note. Some readers may be disturbed by this story, although mature teens may find it a more realistic reflection of a troubled world, in the manner of Robert Cormier, S. E. Hinton, and many adult writers. --Susan L. Rogers, Chestnut Hill Academy, PA
Stephanie Zvirin
Tension hums beneath the surface of Cadnum's riveting novel, which opens (almost literally) with a bang as Stanley, standing in the dark bedroom of the house he's broken into, watches in horror as the man in the bed awakes, senses Stanley's presence, then reaches for a gun. That's not supposed to happen. According to Jared, Stanley's troubled friend, housebreaking is a game. The boys aren't thieves; the tokens they take--pens, lighters--are merely remembrances of the daring. It's the exhilarating fear that is the point of breaking in, and if you break in quietly, you're "invisible." Stanley escapes, and as the story haltingly unfolds we learn that he thinks the game can help him forget that his parents are separating and he isn't playing baseball anymore. And we meet pretty Sky Tagola, Stanley's girlfriend. Calm and careful, she's the opposite of Jared, but even her attention isn't enough to free Stanley entirely from the guilt and the thrill of the game. Cadnum's novel is neither tidy nor an easy read. Its landscape is murky, oppressive, even melodramatic, and there's an annoying sense of things left purposefully unsaid and unexplained. Yet as with "Calling Home" , the tightly controlled prose--here, almost lyrical at times--fascinates, drawing us viscerally into the story. We feel Stanley's confusion and the danger, and we clearly understand what drives him to play even though he knows he's going to lose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670846870
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Pages: 160
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.72 (w) x 5.62 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2006

    Exciting book

    How would you feel if one of your friends wanted you to do something that was dangerous that could cost you big time. Would you want to be cool and fold under pressure or would you be able to turn it down? Would you play this dangerous game? In this book, Breaking the Fall, the author Michael Cadnum makes you think about those questions and possibilities of peer pressure. As a young teenager, Stanley is faced with the responsibility of doing the right thing and making a smart choice. Stanley is the main character of the story and he easily folds under peer pressure, mostly caused by his risk-taking friend Jared. He always wants to do everything that Jared does. Jared is one of those people that can get you to do almost anything by manipulating you. At school Stanley has a crush on a girl named Sky. He has liked Sky for a long time but is to embarrassed to talk to her. Stanley¿s mom is always gone on business trips working and doesn¿t get to spend a lot of time with Stanley. In this book Jared and Stanley participate in a game of breaking and entering. Stanley doesn¿t know if he is doing the right thing and wants to have a good life were trouble is no were around. But the adrenaline rush is too much for a young teen like Stanley and he doesn¿t want to loose that. The first house that is broken into is an ordinary house on the street with green shutters. The two friends are almost caught in the act and barely make it out, some of the first signs of dislike for Stanley. Jared continues to pressure his friend into doing risky things and almost pushes it to the extreme as you will read in the book. As a young teen living in an ordinary town, Stanley is faced with the fact of peer pressure and keeping his chance-taking friend Jared, but doesn¿t want to risk too much. He wonders if he is doing the right thing or not but the feeling is too good to stop. Should Stanley keep doing what his friend wants him to or take the chance of loosing his friendship with Jared?As the book goes on, the author makes you feel the excitement and thoughts that are going through Stanley¿s head. Every time something happens in the story that is chancy you get the adrenaline rush that the author is describing. This book is wonderful for those who love reading books with excitement and thrill. I strongly suggest that anyone reads this book because it is thrilling, riveting, and excitement filled with drama. It makes a good choice for a teen facing the concepts of peer pressure. You won¿t regret reading it I promise.

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