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Kat's Fall
     

Kat's Fall

5.0 1
by Shelley Hrdlitschka
 

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Darcy's mother is getting out of jail. Ten years ago she was convicted of throwing Darcy's baby sister off a fifth floor balcony. Kat survived, but Darcy has spent the last decade raising his sister, giving her the love and support she has been denied by an absent mother and an uncaring father. Now, with their mother about to be released, their father has decided he

Overview

Darcy's mother is getting out of jail. Ten years ago she was convicted of throwing Darcy's baby sister off a fifth floor balcony. Kat survived, but Darcy has spent the last decade raising his sister, giving her the love and support she has been denied by an absent mother and an uncaring father. Now, with their mother about to be released, their father has decided he has had enough of parental responsibility and is determined to return the children to their mother's care. Darcy is horrified, and adamant that he will not subject his sister to the woman who once tried to murder her. Struggling to understand and control the anger and resentment that has consumed him, Darcy is forced to confront his feelings and engage with the outside world. With newfound friendships and the unflagging support of his teacher, Darcy is able to understand some of the pain of the past and accept that he cannot control everything. As he grudgingly re-establishes ties with the mother he thinks he hates, he is accused of a horrific act. It will take incredible strength--his own and others--to fight the charges, but he finds that truth is often an elusive concept and that trust--and love--are powerful allies.

Editorial Reviews

Darcy has it all under control. His mom is in prison, his dad doesn't care, and he has to take responsibility for raising his deaf, epileptic younger sister. But the 15-year-old is handling it all, except for that small problem he has with cutting himself. Then his mom is released from prison, and Darcy is accused of a terrible crime. His carefully ordered world spins wildly out of control. This short novel addresses a number of social issues: self-injury, dysfunctional families, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and alternative high schools. But the tone is very matter-of-fact and never preachy or melodramatic. Bad language is minimal. Despite the grim subjects, it is not a painful book to read. There are strong themes about the transcendent power of hope, love, and forgiveness. There is also a terrific teacher who demonstrates the pivotal role a caring adult can play when she doesn't give up on a surly, troubled teen. The plot doesn't contain any surprises and the ending is just a little too neat, but overall it's a very enjoyable book. 2004, Orca Book Publishers, 168 pp., Ages young adult.
—Wendy Street
Children's Literature
Twenty-three year old Sherri Murphy has been sentenced to fifteen years in prison for allegedly dropping her eleven-month-old daughter Kat off of a five-story building because the child was born deaf and with acute epileptic seizures. Surprisingly, Kat survives the amazing fall, landing in bushes. Miss Murphy's four-year-old son Darcy also lived with her at the time. For ten years Darcy raised his sister, hiding his emotional pain through scarification. Finally Miss Murphy was up for parole, leaving Darcy, Kat, and their father to cope with her return and the changes that come with it, as well as a few other skeletons that the group has in their closets. It is a gripping book that shows the reader not to give up on life, because eventually everything will turn out right, no matter how awful the situation may appear to be. 2004, Orca Book Publishers, Ages 12 up.
—Brandon Blythe
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Darcy Frasier, 15, has grown up with the overwhelming responsibility of caring for himself and his 11-year-old sister, who is deaf and suffers from epileptic seizures. Their father has halfheartedly raised them while their mother has been in prison for 10 years, charged with dropping baby Kat from a balcony. Darcy's and Kat's lives are turned upside-down when they receive word that their mother is going to be released. Darcy will do anything to distance himself from the woman, who he believes does not deserve a second chance, but then he remembers the truth about Kat's fall: it was he who dropped his infant sister. Just as the teen is coming to terms with the truth, he is accused of molesting the little girl he baby-sits as well as his sister. It is with the help of his teacher and his mom that his name is cleared. Each surprising new plot element keeps readers turning pages until every truth unfolds. Darcy develops as an everyday hero who proves that perseverance in any situation is possible as he approaches each challenge with dignity and grace. Additionally, the supporting characters unfold to reveal their own compassion. This powerful novel is both heart wrenching and shocking.-Leigh Ann Morlock, Vernonia School District, OR Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551433127
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2004
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile:
HL630L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

Staring out from the front page is a picture of Mom, and I swear she's looking me right in the eyes. The caption reads, "Attempted Murderer To Be Given Parole."

Meet the Author

Shelley Hrdlitschka is the author of several novels for teens. She lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practicing yoga, Zumba dancing or volunteering at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. For more information, visit www.shelleyhrdlitschka.wordpress.com.

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Kat's Fall 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago