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Dawn-

  • Title: Dawn
  • Author:
  • Released: 2010-11-01
  • Language:
  • Pages: 274
  • ISBN:
  • ISBN13:
  • ASIN: B004AP9LLU

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From School Library Journal Grade 9 Up—Fifteen-year old Dawn Bundy wants to kill God. Her home life makes the reasons for her disillusionment clear. Two years ago, her drug-dealer and ex-con father abruptly abandoned the family after falling under the twin sway of religious fanaticism and substance abuse, and Dawn now serves as caregiver for her mother, who has turned to alcohol and prescription pills to cope with her pain. Dawn seems to have mostly numbed herself to the trauma of her father's disappearance and the events that led up to it, spending her time walking her dogs, Jesus and Mary, and obsessively listening to the band The Jesus and Mary Chain. And somehow Dawn and her mother have held on financially, living on cash left behind by her father. When two tough, popular girls unexpectedly befriend her, she finds herself unavoidably swept up in their efforts to make her over into a "cool girl" like them. She knows they're using her somehow, but she has no idea how sinister their motives really are. Despite her outward passivity, Dawn is bright, strong-minded, feisty, and extremely funny—the kind of character that teens are likely to connect with immediately. The story's dark themes—including religious fanaticism and sexual abuse—are also likely to appeal to eager readers of the "problem novel" genre. Some students may be puzzled by the questions Brooks leaves unanswered, including the ambiguous ending, but this is a provocative and compelling read for fans of suspense thrillers and realistic fiction alike.—Meredith Robbins, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis High School, New York City
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From Shortly after we meet 15-year-old Dawn, she states her agenda: And tomorrow I’m going to start killing God. It’s not often a young-adult protagonist is so openly hostile to religion, and it gives Brooks’ story enough edge to steer us through moments of floundering. Thankfully, Dawn’s ire at Christianity is given a satisfying origin: two years ago, her wayward father moved from drugs and alcohol to religious zealotry, and it was with that fervor that he committed an atrocity. Dawn has mostly blocked it out and now lives alone with her boozy mom and twin dachshunds, Jesus and Mary. Brooks uses a halting, repetitious, and sometimes poetic prose that shifts into self-interrogation when things get too intense: Q. And the gun? Did you keep the gun? A. Yes. It’s a simultaneously gruff and anxious approach that wonderfully depicts Dawn’s confusion when two bad girls begin to ply her with unsolicited vodka and cajole her with makeovers. Though rushed, the climax is undoubtedly dramatic and pulls together puzzle pieces many readers may not have even noticed. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus pdf
 
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