HARD HIT by Ann Turner
Kirkus Star

HARD HIT

Age Range: 12 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

Mark Warren’s world is about to be turned upside down by his father’s sudden diagnosis of cancer in this novel written in a spare, masterful sequence of poems. The tenth grader, an aspiring star pitcher, still has an innocence and ability to feel, qualities absent from much of contemporary YA fiction. And while the story follows a formulaic structure—Mark’s got a best friend and falls in love—both these characters support Mark with genuine warmth and affection through the ups and downs of his father’s treatment. What keeps this arresting is the kindness and understanding of the characters—not just Mark’s friends, but his family, too—and the astonishing minimalist language of each poem that advances the storyline and reveals Mark’s attempt to grapple with everything. There isn’t a lot of background noise: no sidebar conversations into other character’s unhappy or dysfunctional lives; the focus is clearly on Mark, life and death and the exquisitely evoked simple and complex mysteries of the universe. Backmatter includes “National Help Lines” for further information on cancer and organizations to help children with bereavement. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-439-29680-3
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Scholastic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2006




WHEN A FAMILY MEMBER IS SERIOUSLY ILL:

Children SIGN LANGUAGE by Amy  Ackley
by Amy Ackley
Children SKELLIG by David Almond
by David Almond
Children THE ABSOLUTE VALUE OF -1 by Steve Brezenoff
by Steve Brezenoff
Children IDA B by Katherine Hannigan
by Katherine Hannigan

MORE BY ANN TURNER

ChildrenFATHER OF LIES by Ann Turner
by Ann Turner
ChildrenSITTING BULL REMEMBERS by Ann Turner
by Ann Turner
ChildrenPUMPKIN CAT by Ann Turner
by Ann Turner

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

NonfictionBOBBLEHEAD DAD by Jim Higley
by Jim Higley