Kat's Fall

Kat's Fall

5.0 1
by Shelley Hrdlitschka

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D'Arcy struggles with his mother's return from ten years in jail.See more details below


D'Arcy struggles with his mother's return from ten years in jail.

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.

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Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
HL630L (what's this?)
File size:
268 KB
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."

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