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THE GUARDIAN by Joyce Sweeney

THE GUARDIAN

By Joyce Sweeney

Age Range: 13 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-8050-8019-3
Publisher: Henry Holt

This fast-paced family drama will appeal to fans of The Rules of Survival (2006) by Nancy Werlin and The Compound (2008) by S.A. Bodeen. Thirteen-year-old Hunter feels utterly alone in a foster home, where his three “sisters” undermine his efforts to stay out of trouble and his greedy, cruel foster mother Stephanie blames him for everything. When the arrival of a motorcycle-riding stranger coincides with an unusual run of good luck for Hunter, he is tempted to believe that the man is a supernatural guardian angel sent to save him from his unhappy circumstances. But the reality is that the man is his biological father, an ex-con who wants his son back by any means necessary. In a particularly harrowing climax, the man violently confronts Stephanie and kidnaps Hunter. Terrified of being returned to his old life but unsure of his new one, Hunter has to decide if he can live with the consequences of his father’s morally ambiguous actions. Suspenseful and unexpectedly tender, this short, action-packed thriller will be an easy sell to reluctant readers. (Thriller. 13 & up)