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ONE OF THE SURVIVORS by Susan Shaw

ONE OF THE SURVIVORS

By Susan Shaw

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 8th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-6129-1
Publisher: McElderry

What do you do when the world stops making sense? When your mother dies in a house fire trying to save a cat. When 24 of your classmates die in a fire, but you and your best friend survive. When people blame you for surviving and come to your house to throw garbage in your yard and chant “Murderer! Murderer!” Fourteen-year-old Joseph Edward Campbell keeps a journal, to “fill time, fill the page, fill my mind,” anything to keep himself from thinking. He fills three notebooks, writing about “nowhere stuff”—the color blue, vanilla ice cream, crickets and autumn leaves. But the journal effectively pulls readers into Joey’s tortured mind, gradually revealing the whole story of how he and Maureen McGillicuddy survived and how his father and others nurture the healing process through quiet support and well-meaning clichés about life. Shaw’s prose is simple and fast-moving, effectively using the indirection of journal entries to give voice to Joey’s anguish. The wrenching premise and Joey’s first-person point of view make this a story with broad appeal. (Fiction. 10-14)