My Father's Son

My Father's Son

5.0 5
by Terri Fields
     
 

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WHAT IF YOUR FATHER ISN'T WHO YOU THOUGHT HE WAS?

"I turn up the volume as a woman at a news desk announces, 'This just in…the alleged DB25 monster has been arrested.' Good. The camera switches from the anchor to a mug shot…and it is my face--or at least my face as it will look thirty years from now…A new image replaces the full-screen mug

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Overview

WHAT IF YOUR FATHER ISN'T WHO YOU THOUGHT HE WAS?

"I turn up the volume as a woman at a news desk announces, 'This just in…the alleged DB25 monster has been arrested.' Good. The camera switches from the anchor to a mug shot…and it is my face--or at least my face as it will look thirty years from now…A new image replaces the full-screen mug shot as I see two cops hustling my handcuffed father into the back of a police car." Kevin has to face the worst imaginable possibility: that his father may be the man responsible for a series of vicious killings. How much does he really know about his father?

Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Susan Allen
Kevin is a regular guy; maybe he does a bit better than most in high school, but he also plays pickup basketball games with Jason and other friends and stresses about how to ask out his ideal girl. When Kevin flips through the evening news channels one night, a face appears that makes him catch his breath and stop channel surfing. Why is his father's face on the television news? Disbelief grows as the news story reveals that his father has been picked up in the apartment of the latest victim of the DB25 serial killer. As the rest of the story unfolds, Kevin and his mother wrestle with the accusations leveled at Kevin's father, his father's refusal to see or talk to Kevin, and the increasingly damning evidence pointing to Kevin's dad as the DB25 killer. Kevin becomes confused, angry, disillusioned, and sometimes uncharacteristically violent as he tries to process what is happening around him. The teen characters here are well developed, and the teen situations are believable. The ending is not the "happily-ever-after" type. The adults are less than perfect and realistically a source of frustration and embarrassment to Kevin. Those who enjoy coming-of-age stories or mysteries will find this one intriguing. Reviewer: Susan Allen
Children's Literature - Elisabeth Greenberg
This fast-charging novel grabs the reader from the first scene and plunges into a series of mind-boggling events. Kevin is just a normal teenager, hanging out with his friends to play basketball, making the first moves to date Emily, his Spanish class partner, living with his mom but spending some time with his divorced dad. Then his dad's face appears on the breaking news segment as the alleged DB25 Monster, a beater and torturer who preys on women. Kevin tries to figure out how his life went into a tailspin as he struggles to support his father. However, his fear and anxiety about his dad and the negative attitude of his classmates trigger fights at school. Soon he is suspended and becomes increasingly isolated. When he tackles his dad's lawyer about helping his father, he is told in no uncertain terms that his father won't see him and doesn't want to communicate. When Kevin takes matters into his own hands and stands in line at the prison to see his father, his father refuses his visit. Confused, lonely and increasingly fearful, Kevin tracks down his father's parents, whom he has never met, to figure out what went sour between his parents. Meanwhile, he finds friendship in unexpected places and finally pulls himself together, putting studies and his family first. This realistic novel with a wild premise portrays teens dealing with pressing issues—divorce, friendship, anger, uncertainty and truth. Kevin learns that others' lives can't ever be completely known, but that he can live with what he has. Leavened with humor, My Father's Son is a smart, contemporary coming-of-age novel that uses computer savvy for a surprise ending. Reviewer: Elisabeth Greenberg
School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up

In the range of things that can make one a misfit in high school, having a father who has been arrested on suspicion of being a serial killer is probably at the top of the list. Kevin Windor, 17, finds himself in that situation when his dad is apprehended at a crime scene where a woman has been brutalized in the manner of the DB25 Monster, a killer credited with 11 murders. Kevin cannot imagine how his loving, tech-savvy father could possibly be guilty, but lingering secrets about his parents' marriage and divorce and Dad's past eventually convince him that these ugly accusations may be true. His social relationships fall apart as the world dubs him Monster Junior; his dream girl ends up in his best friend's arms; he gets suspended several times; and tension grows as he and his mother face this horror. The guilt or innocence of Greg Windor remains a mystery through most of the book, leaving readers on the edge of their seats. Some of the dialogue seems strained, and Kevin's reversal of opinion about his father halfway through the story is abrupt. Still, fans of Sean Olin's Killing Britney (S & S, 2005) and Elaine Marie Alphin's Counterfeit Son (Harcourt, 2000) will be pleased to discover another novel that will raise goose bumps on the backs of their necks.-Nora G. Murphy, Los Angeles Academy Middle School

Kirkus Reviews
High-school junior Kevin Windor leads the most normal of lives, until the day his father is arrested for a particularly brutal series of murders. The evidence-he was caught climbing out the window of a victim-is strong. Kevin and his mother are taken by surprise; except for a dysfunctional relationship with his own parents, Greg Windor seemed like a decent man. At first, Kevin staunchly defends his father, but when DNA evidence provides additional proof of guilt, he loses faith in him. Kevin's first-person narrative mostly rings true but never completely captures the full horror of the situation, as friends turns their backs on him and he lashes out at others in anger and frustration, and begins to question his relationships with everyone else he knows. Although the surprising conclusion seems a little contrived after the believable realism of the rest of the tale, this is still a fast-paced and sometimes disturbing look at families and violent crime and its many victims, seen and unseen. (Fiction. 12 & up)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781429920070
Publisher:
Roaring Brook Press
Publication date:
09/02/2008
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
153,077
File size:
0 MB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt


My Father's Son
breaking newsTen minutes. Just ten minutes, and then I'll start my pile of waiting homework. I stretch out on the sofa; Mom's not home, so feet up is okay. I press the TV remote, and ominous music with bold words, "BREAKING NEWS," fills the screen. I better pay attention. It could be good for extra credit in Government tomorrow.I turn up the volume as a woman at a news desk announces, "This just in. In a spectacular development, the alleged DB25 Monster has been arrested. Police apprehended him trying to escape through the bathroom window of 32-year-old Joyce Garlen's apartment. Officers found Ms. Garlen bound and badly beaten, her body bearing the signature DB25 markings. As with other DB25 victims, she had allegedly been tortured and branded before beingleft to die of her injuries. Ms. Garlen was still alive when police reached her, and she has been rushed to John C. Lincoln Hospital, where she is now in a coma. She is the eleventh known DB25 victim in the tri-state area over the past two years."Then the camera switches from the anchor to a mug shot of the monster they caught. And it is my face--or least my face as it will look in 20 years. My same thick black hair, my same long eyelashes, my same brown eyes. A new image replaces the full-screen mug shot as I see two cops hustling a handcuffed man into the back of a police car.Text copyright © 2008 by Terri Fields

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