Leftovers

Leftovers

3.6 3
by Heather Waldorf
     
 

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Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father—chef by day, camera buff by night—choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the best day of Sarah's life. But a year later, Sarah still struggles with the legacy of her father's abuse. While other girls her age are determined to find boyfriends and part-time jobs and dresses for the prom, Sarah is on a… See more details below

Overview

Fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene's father—chef by day, camera buff by night—choked to death on a piece of steak. It was the best day of Sarah's life. But a year later, Sarah still struggles with the legacy of her father's abuse. While other girls her age are determined to find boyfriends and part-time jobs and dresses for the prom, Sarah is on a search-and-destroy mission: to find the shoe box containing her father's collection of kiddy porn. After a brief skirmish with the law, Sarah is sentenced to do community service hours at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a summer program for shelter dogs. With the love of a big goofy dog named Judy, the friendship of Sullivan, a guy with problems of his own, and the support of a few good adults, Sarah begins to understand her past and believe in a brighter future.

Editorial Reviews

Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's Media
"The atmosphere of the camp and Sarah's often humorous tone are particularly effective at conveying the story in a way not too bogged down in angst. This would be a good choice for teens with an interest in realistic fiction."
CM Magazine
"There is enough humour in the book to mitigate the tension when necessary, but Waldorf allows the tension to build nicely to the climax of the book. Leftovers is an excellent book... [that] draws readers in, taking them on a journey that is both sad and inspirational and always thought-provoking. Recommended."
Random Buzz: Teens at Random website
"[Waldorf] did an excellent job portraying the emotions that a sexual abuse victim experiences. I found Sarah to be a very believable and sympathetic character...A really touching story."
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"Waldorf does an excellent job of not allowing Sarah to become a one-dimensional victim; instead, Sarah's response to her abuse forms only one facet of her character...Deals with a challenging topic with tasteful humour and interesting characters that will appeal to older teenage readers. Highly recommended."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"The revelation of Sarah's sexual abuse is very emotional, but not graphic in detail. This well-written novel handles a difficult topic well, and is comparable to Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. Recommended."
What If? Magazine
"A fluid, wonderful story of how you can learn to deal with your past and the power of unconditional love and acceptance... A great read for any teen."
TeensReadToo.com
"Leftovers really has it all – humor, reality, family drama, and a little bit of romance to satisfy all reader's interests."
Canadian Teacher Magazine
"[A] heartfelt and humor-filled story…Without being sentimental or judgmental, Waldorf manages to construct a compelling account of an adolescent struggling to find herself. It is beautifully written, a page-turner."
Quill & Quire
"Waldorf's respect for her readers comes through not just in the words she puts on the page, but also in the ideas she allows readers to come up with on their own. Leftovers is a frank novel that asks the reader to come to grips with the central character's feelings of shame and guilt - the 'leftovers' of abuse that give the book its title."
Random Buzz: Teens at Random website
[Waldorf] did an excellent job portraying the emotions that a sexual abuse victim experiences. I found Sarah to be a very believable and sympathetic character...A really touching story.
Children's Literature - Heather N. Kolich
A freak-out over a snapshot lands fifteen-year-old Sarah Greene on an island in the St. Lawrence River with several other juvenile offenders. There, she is to complete 400 hours of community service at a summer camp for dogs. The confinement leaves her with no way to complete the desperate mission she was on when she stole and subsequently crashed her mother's boyfriend's car—until the camp counselor's son, a boy she's been in school with since first grade, offers to take her across the river into Ottawa for a concert if she'll help him finish a project for his stepfather, the veterinarian who runs the camp. Sarah jumps at the chance, but plans to dump the boy at the concert. There, she will make her own way into the city, to the locked-up restaurant owned by her recently deceased father where she believes she will find the shameful evidence of the sexual abuse he inflicted on her from the earliest days of her memory. Sarah thinks that if she destroys the photographs and keep anyone else from finding out about the abuse, she can move on with her life. But Sarah is not the only one on the island trying to adjust to life-changing circumstances. A network of supporting characters adds interest, depth and complexity to the story. They help Sarah break out of her self-imposed isolation. With their support—and the completion of her mission, although not quite the way she'd planned—Sarah begins to anticipate a future of positive possibilities. Waldorf develops the plot skillfully and gently, allowing the reader to figure out early on what Sarah is hiding. It is disturbing, however, that she found it necessary to demonize two fathers in this very small population as sexuallyabusive of their daughters; with the exception of the reform camp counselors, all of the juveniles' parents are portrayed as abusive or negligent. Reviewer: Heather N. Kolich
VOYA - Sherrie Williams
Sarah Greene's father died more than a year ago, and everyone thinks that it is simply grief that causes the fifteen year old to act out. In fact, Sarah is relieved that her chef father choked to death. His death finally ended the years of abuse that Sarah endured, keeping quiet as her father took hundreds of pornographic photographs of her. Now she desperately seeks to find those pictures before someone else does. After crashing a stolen car while looking for the box of photos, she is sentenced to community service at Camp Dog Gone Fun, a wilderness camp for difficult-to-adopt shelter dogs. In getting to know the misfits there (both canine and human), Sarah begins to see a future for herself beyond the trauma of her earlier years. Although this book features a painfully heavy topic—the creation of pornography featuring a child by a parent—it is not overly explicit. There are a wide variety of story lines to follow concerning the troubled dogs and teens at the summer camp, but the book never gets bogged down and the characters are well fleshed out. As with many books published by Orca, this title has a strong appeal for reluctant readers. It will particularly draw girl readers, thanks to its mix of recovery and light summer camp romance. The conclusion is cathartic and realistic, featuring layers of themes and character development that will hold reader's interests to the end. Reviewer: Sherrie Williams

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781551439372
Publisher:
Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
04/01/2009
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
1,268,975
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.60(d)
Lexile:
840L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

I make it to the flagpole second to last. No Poo Patrol for me. Not today. Today I draw the Grooming straw. Forget my own grooming; for three leisurely hours this morning, I'll be washing, drying, fluffing and brushing out the matted and dirt-encrusted coats of a dozen-odd dogs of questionable parentage. Not that my own parentage is anything to brag about.

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