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Waiting for Sarah

Waiting for Sarah

3.4 5
by Bruce McBay, James Heneghan

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Mike's parents and sister are dead and his legs are gone. The horrific accident that shattered his life continues to haunt him. When he grudgingly returns to school and a life that he no longer understands, Mike is bitter and unwilling to participate in school life. To avoid one of his classes Mike agrees to put together a 50th Anniversary history of the school.


Mike's parents and sister are dead and his legs are gone. The horrific accident that shattered his life continues to haunt him. When he grudgingly returns to school and a life that he no longer understands, Mike is bitter and unwilling to participate in school life. To avoid one of his classes Mike agrees to put together a 50th Anniversary history of the school. Looking forward to time alone, he is annoyed when a young girl shows up in the archives on a regular basis. Sarah seems too young to be a student in the school, but her resemblance to Mikeís sister and her bubbly personality have him intrigued. She gradually draws him out of his shell and manages to interest him in the archives project, and more importantly, in life itself. As their relationship grows and changes, Mike slowly becomes convinced that Sarah is more than just another student. When he discovers the shocking secret she is carrying, he sets out to give Sarah the peace that she so desperately needs.

Editorial Reviews

CM Magazine
"High school life is described with pin-point accuracy...A great choice for senior high school fiction collections. Highly Recommended."
Resource Links
"The story is a strange mix of the simple and the haunting...chilling and effective."
Library Media Connection
"This is a well-developed novel that shatters the teen perceptions of invincibility, as well as dealing with loss, handicaps, and positive ways to break through grief."
The Observer
"This is a well-written and gripping book that deals realistically with the depression and emotional turmoil that follows an intense trauma."
Publishers Weekly
As this Canadian novel opens, Mike Scott's father, mother and sister die in a car crash that leaves him legless and wheelchair-bound. Sullen and withdrawn, Mike goes to live with his aunt Norma, who eventually convinces him to return to high school in time for his senior year and graduation. As he works alone on a project in the school library, Sarah, a perky eighth-grader, boldly befriends him, despite his best efforts to keep her, like everyone else, at arm's length. Gradually, the boy begins to enjoy Sarah's company, just in time to learn her supernatural secret. Mike's bone-chilling discovery marks the pivot point where the book moves from angry character study to paranormal redemption tale. Both halves of the book will engage the target audience. Mike's inner torment echoes familiar questions-Why do bad things happen to good people? Why do children die while evil men live to ripe old age?-and his coming to terms with them is mature and thoughtful. Ages 12-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
When a truck driver hits his family's car head-on, 10th grader Mike Scott's life takes a terrible turn. He loses his parents, his sister, his legs and a promising future in one fell swoop. After a long and painful rehabilitation, Mike returns to school as a bitter and distant senior who shirks all attempts at assistance and friendship. His social detachment from the other students wins him the opportunity to compile the school's complete history. Mike accepts the challenge, if only to get out of attending the dreadful Mr. Dorfman's history class. Surprisingly, a strange girl named Sarah Francis—a presence he at first regrets—shows up to help Mike with the project. As Mike gets to know Sarah better, he learns to appreciate her unbending effort and looks forward to her visits. Soon, Mike begins to question Sarah's identity. In fact, no Sarah Francis even attends his school. Finally, Mike steps outside himself long enough to unlock Sarah's past. If he doesn't give up, he may solve a mystery and a murder. This moving, chilling tale of a young man's loss and regaining of self-worth proves an excellent and worthwhile example of supernatural literature. KLIATT Codes: JS*—Exceptional book, recommended for junior and senior high school students. 2003, Orca, 170p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Lynne Marie Pisano
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-When 10th-grader Mike loses his family and both legs in an automobile accident, he is predictably withdrawn and highly resistant to those intent on helping him. Just as total academic and social detachment seem inevitable, the yearbook committee at his Vancouver high school offers Mike a job assembling a 50th anniversary feature. He accepts, but only because the assignment will free him from attending the soporific history class taught by the dreaded Mr. Dorfman. The plot takes a supernatural turn when an eighth-grade yearbook assistant, Sarah, turns up. Her persistent peppiness gradually defrosts Mike, and young love seems destined to run its course until he reports to his post one day to find Sarah bloodied and weeping in a corner. When she runs out, Mike notifies school officials who inform him that they have no record of her existence. Eventually, yearbooks reveal that she was a student there, but was slain in an unsolved murder dating back to 1982. In subsequent appearances, Sarah reveals the identity of her killer, and Mike sees that justice is done. Unfortunately, while the plot has some compelling ingredients, the third-person narrative relies so heavily on awkward chunks of bald exposition to prop up the tinny dialogue that any personal and spiritual epiphanies that the story's ambitious conclusion might hold are simply not realized.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
4.25(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.50(d)
770L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

"I told you. I don't need anyone..."

"Everyone needs someone. Parents, for instance; everyone needs parents."

"I've got no parents."

"Everyone's got parents." She thought for a second. "Unless you're an orphan."

"I've got work to do. So get lost."

"You're not very nice."

He scowled. "Just because I'm in a wheelchair doesn't mean I've got to be nice."

Meet the Author

Bruce McBay collaborated with James Heneghan on Waiting for Sarah, his first book with Orca. He is the department head of Learning Support Staff at a Burnaby Secondary School and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.

A former fingerprint specialist with the Vancouver Police Department, James Heneghan has won numerous awards for his books for young readers, including the Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Award three times for Flood, Wish Me Luck and The Grave. James lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.jamesheneghan.com.

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Waiting for Sarah 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good. Within a day I finished it! I really liked the plot. I would give this book 5 stars but it was written in like 3rd person I think and I don't like that but you get used to it. So if you get bothered with that severely don't get it. Other than that yay good book!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After a head on crash with a semi, 10th grade Mike Scott's parents and younger sister are dead. As if this is not enough, he is now wheelchair-bound with no legs. Sending all former friends and family away, all Mike wants is to be alone. Sullen, bitter and resentful, Mike moves in with his Aunt Norma. She convinces him to go back to school the year before graduation. He is then asked to do a special history report on the school. Sitting isolated in the library archives room could not be more of what Mike wanted, until Sarah comes. Mike tries to keep her out of his life, though she moves in circling his mind day and night. Soon Mike questions Sarah into revealing her horrific secret of the past. Sarah shows Mike life as he has never seen it before. A enthralling story of life death and how some things are not always what they seem, not matter how crazy.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Story 1 The nook monster ...give more feedback for more of........once upon a nook...casey I got you something......