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Corrigan, Eireann. Splintering.

CORRIGAN, Eireann. Splintering. Scholastic, Push. 184p. c2004.0-439-48992-X. $7.99. S*

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, March 2004: A work of fiction, told through poetry, this is a powerful story of a family splintering apart because of an act of violence. A brother and a sister share the narrative in alternating poems. The brother, Jeremy, worries about his younger sister Paulie, and he also worries about pleasing his father by getting into a good college. Paulie, a strong-minded 15-year-old, has been in fights with their mother all her life, with the bruises to prove it, but her life changed utterly when the madman entered the house and attacked them--and it was she who beat him down as her older sister called 911 and the police arrived. Jeremy tries to forgive himself for hiding while his father and his mother and sisters were attacked. The crime appears again and again in their thoughts as they try to pick up their lives in the following months. Paulie has terrible nightmares, and she takes refuge in a love affair with a college student, sneaking out of the house each night to stay with him in his dorm room. Jeremy covers for her absence, but worries that she is smoking dope and having sex with an older guy and generally is on a destructive path. Obscenities are frequent, and absolutely appropriate as the traumatized Paulie and Jeremy try to put words to their confusion and misery. The story ends with the family members realizing they are in trouble and need help, that they haven't recovered from the violence inflicted upon them, and that they won't recover without facing their problems directly and helping one another. For sophisticated adolescents. (An ALA Best Book for YAs.) Claire Rosser, KLIATT

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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