Posts Tagged 'child abuse'

Lock & Mori by Heather W. Petty

lock and mori

Genre:  Mystery

# of Pages:  248

RAC: Yes

Miss James “Mori” Moriarty has been living a tough existence since her mother died several months before.  Her father has become a heavy drinker and often takes his frustrations out physically on her and her three brothers.  She knows she needs to do something to protect her brothers but she isn’t sure what at this time.  Meanwhile, she becomes friendly with a strange boy at her school, Sherlock Holmes.  They encounter a murder in the nearby park and are shocked to see the police are severely inept and make terrible and lazy assumptions.  They decide to investigate on their own in order to find the true killer and are horrified to discover this was merely one amongst several similar murders.  There is a serial killer out there the police aren’t even looking for!  Can Mori find the killer and save her family from an increasingly bad home life?

This is a fun mystery story for fans of mystery fiction and TV shows.  Sherlock Holmes is impressive in his deductions and observations as always and it’s refreshing to see a different take on the character of Moriarty.  There is a bit of violence in it and Mori’s father is definitely a force to contend with in her life, but Lock and Mori try very hard to never lose hope that they can in fact prevail as long as their intentions and resolve are strong enough.

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Manifest by Artist Arthur

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  248

RAC Book:  Yes

Krystal has recently moved to a new town due to her parent’s divorce and she is having trouble adjusting to her new life.  She has not made any friends, has stopped eating, and now has begun seeing ghosts.  Specifically, one ghost named Ricky has been following her.  He was a student at her school, but was shot and killed before she arrived.  Now he wants to find who really killed him so that he can cross over.  As Krystal copes with this difficult situation she meets two other students who mysteriously have the same birthmark as her.  They quickly realize that they all have special gifts and they plan to work together to find out what happened to Ricky.  They call themselves the Mystyx.  Despite Krystal’s hesitance to let others in on her secret, she finds relief when she can talk to her new friends about her supernatural visions.  Her relief is short lived, however, when she realizes that someone wants to hurt her for helping Ricky and the reasons behind his murder go deeper than she expected.

The plot of this story is interesting as Krystal tries to piece together what happened to Ricky.  The characters are interesting and well developed.  The writing style is a little simple and might turn off some young adult readers.  The beginning feels a bit slow and predictable, but once she meets her fellow mystyx things pick up quickly.  Fans of supernatural mysteries will enjoy this title, but it is not the best one out there right now.  Recommended to supplement a thriving fantasy collection.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Age Level: 14 and up

# of Pages: 422 p.

RAC Book: Yes

Ruby was abandoned by her mother just mere months before her eighteenth birthday. Despite her efforts to live alone, she is found out by her landlord and taken to social services. Soon she is living with her estranged older sister, Cora, in her huge house with her wealthy business minded husband. Ruby and Cora were close as children and so when Cora went off to college and never came back Ruby took it very hard. Soon she comes to find out that nothing was as simple as she thought it was. As she struggles to remain a loner in her new caring environment, she also struggles against becoming friends with the ambitious eager to please neighbor boy, Nate, who often gives her rides to school. She finds out that life isn’t just tough for the people who live in low rent housing, however, as she begins to get closer to Nate and catches a glimpse at his real life.

For fans of Sarah Dessen this book will not disappoint. Dessen has once again managed to create characters that are complex and interesting that readers want to know more about. In Cora’s opulent lifestyle it’s hard to imagine that anyone could be unhappy or unsatisfied in any way, but as Ruby begins to get to know the people who live in this world she sees that no one’s life is perfect. This book covers some serious issues such as abandonment, child abuse, infertility, alcoholism, and workaholics. A great read.

The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of pages:  259

RAC Book:  Yes

Matthew writes a letter to his younger sister, Emmy, about what life was like with their physically and emotionally abusive mother.  Matthew wants Emmy to understand why he and their sister Callie ended up looking for ways to leave their mother.  He recounts how he and Callie constantly tried to protect Emmy from their mother’s outbursts and mood swings and how certain incidents escalated to physical danger and neglect at times.

In many ways this letter was meant to help Matthew understand what happened in his childhood as well.  He is not even sure he will ever give it to Emmy, but he wants to have a clear account of the home they left behind just in case Emmy ever expresses confusion about leaving her biological mother.  Simply by writing it, Matthew forgives himself for some of the measures he took to ensure their safety and for some of the people who were hurt along the way.

Students who found A Child Called It interesting will also want to read this story.  Since there is more emotional than physical abuse, they worry about trying to leave home because they fear they will get split up or immediately returned to their abusive and unpredictable mother.  A realistic portrayal of life with someone who has mental issues.


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