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Shadow of a Doubt

Shadow of a Doubt

4.5 4
by S. L. Rottman

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Editorial Reviews

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, November 2003: Shadow got his nickname because he always trailed around after his beloved older brother, Daniel. But seven years ago, at the age of 15, Daniel ran away from home, destroying his family's world. Now Shadow is turning 15—and Daniel has suddenly returned, charged with murder. Shadow must cope with his conflicted feelings toward his long-lost brother, as well as with the new challenges of high school, the demands of being on the debating team, and the appeal of Robin, a team member. His mother wants them all to be a happy family once more; can Shadow manage to give Daniel another chance? Rottman, author of Hero, Rough Waters, Head Above Water, and Stetson, excels at realistically depicting teens struggling with family issues. Shadow's anger at Daniel rings true; so does his anger at his parents, who have their own difficulties with Daniel's return and with the murder trial that he faces. Shadow tells the tale, and readers will empathize with his struggle to learn to trust again. Daniel's sad story emerges gradually, and readers will eagerly turn the pages to discover what happens next. A quick, compelling read. KLIATT Codes: JS—Recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Peachtree, 197p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Paula Rohrlick
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up-Ernest (Shadow) Thompson is beginning his first year of high school, and he has worked hard to cultivate his apathetic persona, complete with an all-black wardrobe and sunglasses. He has just turned 15, the age at which his brother left home, 7 years ago. Shadow idolized Daniel for the first half of his life, and then he was gone without a word, leaving his family to wonder what became of him. Suddenly, all of that uncertainty is changed when Daniel calls from jail to tell his parents that he's been arrested for murder. When he reappears, Shadow's life is turned upside down; no one seems to care about him anymore and Daniel is the focus of his parents' concern. With help from new friends on the forensics team, Shadow does his best to deal with these dramatic events. Rottman has a history of creating male characters that are dead-on, and Shadow is no exception. His struggle to be recognized as a unique person is something every teenager goes through, and the added stress of his brother's return exacerbates the situation. The unusual plot gives the book its strength and appeal, and the realistic ending adds to its credibility and message.-Lynn Evarts, Sauk Prairie High School, Prairie du Sac, WI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Debate team discussions of forgiveness and justice take on new weight when the brother of a team member may have committed murder. Shadow's brother Daniel ran away seven years ago. As a child, Shadow had followed his seven-year-older brother everywhere, and Daniel's flight devastated him. Now Shadow wants to move on, make friends, and start his own life-though in his new high school, all the authority figures know him as a troublemaker's kid brother. Out of the blue, Daniel telephones, and Shadow's life turns upside down as his parents try to make sense of their long-lost son. Worse, Dan's been charged with murder, and Shadow isn't sure of his brother's innocence. With the help of new friends on the school forensics team, Shadow comes to terms with his family's problems. Too comforting an ending, as Daniel may still be convicted and sentenced to death, but thoughtful and forgiving of the large and small weaknesses of parents and children. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 16 Years

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Shadow of a Doubt 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
In SHADOW OF A DOUBT, author S. L. Rottman tackles several issues superbly, weaving the plot and subplots into a multi-layered novel teens will love. While the main issue is family reconciliation, other subjects include alienation, friendship, and the stigma of having a relative in the criminal justice system.

The main character, Shadow, has had to deal with the absence of his older brother for nearly half his life. But when Daniel returns, the entire family's life is turned upside down. Their mom and dad have many questions but tread softly, not wanting to alienate their returned prodigal son. Shadow resents the warm welcome and the "molly-coddling" Daniels receives from them, particularly in light of the murder charge hanging over his head.

As the parents try to allow Daniel to come and go as he pleases as he waits for his trial, Shadow feels overprotected and resents his lack of freedom. He has joined the Debate Team at school and gradually finds a sense of belonging. But the questions linger about Daniel's guilt or innocence and tension builds in the home as the trial draws near. In the end, Shadow must confront his parents, his brother, and his own suspicions and fears in order to grow as an individual. This proves to be extremely challenging, making SHADOW OF A DOUBT an engaging read.

The characters are well-rounded, the dialogue quite realistic, and the raw emotions of a family in turmoil ring true. Rottman has accurately portrayed a family's pain as they cope with loss and recovery, two roads exceedingly difficult for parents and their children.

Guest More than 1 year ago
Shadow of a Doubt is a book written by S.L. Rottman. He is the Author of the Award winning books such as Hero, Rough Waters, Head Above Water. Shadow of a Doubt is about a boy named Shadow who doesn¿t trust anyone and likes to push people away. This all started when his brother Daniel ran away from home, at the age of 15, taking Shadow¿s piggy bank with him. Shadow and Daniel were close. He followed him everywhere. Now approaching his own 15th birthday, he gets a shocking call from his brother after 7 years who just happens to be in a heap of trouble. You can almost imagine yourself there, and share the pain, and awkwardness that the family shares after they try to live under one roof together pretending everything is okay. I thought the book was good from start, but wasn¿t a book that you just have to keep reading & can¿t put down. It has over 100 pages, but big writing so it shouldn¿t take any time to read. It didn¿t lag in the beginning and its not like the books where you have to wait till the middle till the action picks up. I feel this is a book about Maturity, learning to trust people, self-esteem and even a little romance! If you have read some of the books by this author, you know these are some common themes in many of his books. I would recommend this book to the teen population. It would be a better age category for this kind of book. There were some highlights in the book that made you want to read the next chapter, but not too many where you couldn¿t put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love to read, you know. It's been a hobby of mine since I was eleven. The books that really wanted me to read more were Sweetblood and Blind Sighted. I read a few more books afterwards but they were all disapointments. I thought their would never be a book as good as Peter Moore's Blind Sighted was but then... I read Shadow of a Doubt! I found it in the teen section of Barns and Noble one day and the plot totally got me interested! It was better than what it summorizes in the back of the book! I finished this book in a week and was begging for more! The only dissapointment I got from this book was that I finished it at the end. I wanted more!!! This book got several awards for teens and you could see why! Nothing compeats with this book. Makes you laugh, cry, even teach you a leason or two. It's also great if you have a messed up family and you want to see how some people would deal with it. Loved it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy named shadow whose brother ran away 7 years ago. Now he's back, and shadow doesn't know what to think. he hates his brother for running away like that, but at the same time he wants to have the relationship he never got to have. This book had me crying near the end. This is a great book, and if you haven't read it, go to your library NOW. This is a must-read!