When Dad Killed Mom (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)-Julius Lester

  • Title: When Dad Killed Mom (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)
  • Author: Julius Lester
  • Released: 2003-06-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 216
  • ISBN: 0613599322
  • ISBN13: 978-0613599320
  • ASIN: 0613599322


From Publishers Weekly Though his subject matter may be sensational, Lester (Pharaoh's Daughter) penetrates the minds of two children left motherless by their father's murder of her, to spin a taut psychological mystery. "My mother is dead. Dad killed her," opens the novel. Through the alternating viewpoints of Jeremy and his older sister, eighth-grader Jenna, readers glean clues to the psychologist father's motive for killing his wife, Rachel. Information that Jeremy uncovers in his mother's diary also sheds light on possible scenarios: inappropriate behavior both professionally and personally on their father's part comes to the fore. The author smoothly balances the children's individual struggles to deal with the aftermath of Rachel's death (their challenges at school, their inability to communicate with each other, their divergent reactions to their father) alongside their attempts to reconcile the facts surrounding her death and their father's subsequent imprisonment. The courtroom scene at the father's trial gives way to melodrama and undermines somewhat the admirable restraint in the preceding chapters. But Lester's exploration of the children's complicated mix of feelings especially Jenna's awakening sense of sexuality in the midst of sorting out her parents problems is subtly and credibly done. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal Grade 9 Up-When Dad Killed Mom (Silver Whistle, 2001), Jeremy and Jenna had to cope with the traumatic consequences of their father's actions. The fact that their parents were having problems did not prepare this fifth grade boy or his 14-year-old sister for the day when they were pulled from class and told the horrifying news. Support from a trusted teacher and a family friend help, but the loyalties that once divided their family now threaten to alienate the siblings. In the months after their mother's death, Jenna finds temporary solace with a boyfriend, and Jeremy is welcomed by a younger student's family. Both go through periods of sadness, anger, and confusion, but emerge united by the opening of their father's trial. A courtroom confrontation with their father leads to his confession, and his life sentence in prison. Author Julius Lester has created believably conflicted characters, and his dialogue includes explosive, but teen-appropriate expletives. He presents Jeremy's and Jenna's individual introspection in alternate passages throughout the novel. The recording makes good use of this style with narrators Johnny Heller and Carine Montbertrand as the young protagonists. Both performers do a fine job of expressing a gamut of youthful emotions. A YALSA Teen's Top Ten book, When Dad Killed Mom deals with the domestic violence, sexual molestation, and suicide, and their effect on the people who live in the aftermath of these tragedies. Even high school listeners who haven't dealt with these issues are aware of them, and will connect with this recording.
Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the edition. pdf
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