Walkaway

Overview

Critically acclaimed author Alden R. Carter's deeply affecting portrait of a troubled young man's desperate attempt to escape from his problems is a gripping adventure filled with drama and emotion that will have even the most reluctant reader tearing through the pages.

Andy is tired. Tired of the way everyone has treated him his entire life, especially his alcoholic father. And things only get worse when he goes to stay in the Lodge, their ...

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0823421066 Has stickers on cover. Otherwise in new condition. We are a tested and proven company with over 900,000 satisfied customers since 1997. Choose expedited shipping (if ... available) for much faster delivery. Delivery confirmation on all US orders. Read more Show Less

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2008 Hard cover First edition. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Paper over boards. With dust jacket. 202 p. Audience: Children/juvenile.

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Overview

Critically acclaimed author Alden R. Carter's deeply affecting portrait of a troubled young man's desperate attempt to escape from his problems is a gripping adventure filled with drama and emotion that will have even the most reluctant reader tearing through the pages.

Andy is tired. Tired of the way everyone has treated him his entire life, especially his alcoholic father. And things only get worse when he goes to stay in the Lodge, their family's cabin in the middle of the Wisconsin woods. This time he just can't take it anymore, and he decides to walk away—into the depths of the wilderness, and of his own mind. Soon the hallucinations set in, and things really start to get out of control. Will Andy ever be able to find the way out?

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Claudia Mills
Fifteen-year-old Andy has heard of the Australian "walkabout;" now he is ready for his own "walkaway." His macho, posturing, critical, alcoholic father is drinking heavily again; his mother just shrugs and sighs; his older brother is cruelly indifferent, bent on his own imminent escape to Yale; and Andy himself feels headed toward a recurrence of the mental breakdown that left him catatonic and hospitalized a year ago. So he literally walks away. With his survival kit packed, and his "head meds" left behind, he walks off alone into the Wisconsin woods, knowing that whatever happens to him would be better than going home again. The portrait of Andy's alcoholic father is fairly cliched, though perhaps, to borrow a line from Tolstoy, all families with alcoholic parents are the same. And it is utterly unbelievable that Andy's brother Rodge is bound for Yale: if he were really Yale material, he would be spending his summer developing a program for sustainable development in Bolivia and working on his concerto audition for the Wisconsin symphony, rather than drinking and womanizing in the backwoods with his buddies. But once Andy walks away, the book becomes riveting: Andy faces a truly untenable situation, tormented both by his hideous family situation and his own unraveling sanity, and pursued relentlessly by the long arm of the unsympathetic law. Carter is unsparing in presenting Andy with no viable solution whatsoever to his unbearable predicament—and yet managing to close the novel with some believable, if meager, measure of hope. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-10

Andy, 15, is on the verge of getting his driver's license and his girl-crazy best friend seems determined to get them both hooked up. For Andy, though, life is far more complicated. His older brother inexplicably hates him, his father is a cruel alcoholic, and his mom does little to help him. He had been in a mental hospital the previous year, and it looks like the pressure of his dysfunctional family is going to push him over the edge again. To combat his inner demons and escape his uncaring family, the teen, an outdoor enthusiast, simply walks away into the Wisconsin wilderness, determined to survive on his own. The concept of Carter's story is appealing, but the execution falls flat. The pace is plodding, and the survivalist aspect isn't explored deeply enough. In truth, the story suffers from a lack of focus as it concentrates neither on the wilderness angle nor Andy's mental-health struggles. He seems less sick than rightfully angry at his family and their lack of support, and his trek into the woods is more about running away than proving his ability to thrive with little to no supplies. Unfortunately, Walkaway is a hollow read that fails its lead character.-Terri Clark, Smokey Hill Library, Centennial, CO

Kirkus Reviews
"Sometimes I think I've been waiting for that crash my whole life," Andy muses when his drunken father nearly crushes him with the family car. The moment sums up 15-year-old Andy's life with his dysfunctional family. When his father is involved in another accident, he pressures fledgling driver Andy to take responsibility, heightening his son's mental anguish. Having heard of the Aboriginal practice of a walkabout, Andy chooses to pit himself against the Wisconsin wilderness, calling his journey a walkaway-a walkabout with purpose. Methodically, Carter reveals that Andy became catatonic after an earlier episode with his father and how, alone and unmediated, his behavior becomes every bit as aberrant as his father's binges, in a realistic depiction of the complicated co-dependent relationship between alcoholic father and child. Despite the contemporary setting, occasionally stilted dialogue and overly detailed descriptive passages make the novel feel dated. However, the interactions between Andy and his addicted father are achingly authentic, providing a painful yet hopeful glimpse into the volatile life of an addict and his son. (Fiction. 12 & up)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823421060
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/2008
  • Pages: 202
  • Age range: 11 - 15 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alden R. Carter is the author of many popular young adult novels. Of his previous book, Love, Football, and Other Contact Sports, Booklist raved, "Written with sensitivity and conviction. . . . A convincing, often affecting mosaic of students today," in a starred review. His novels have received several awards, such as an Outstanding Achievement in Children's Literature from the Wisconsin Library Association, and have made many honor lists, including ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers and American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. He lives in Wisconsin, where Walkaway is set.

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