cover image A Sudden Silence

A Sudden Silence

Eve Bunting. Harcourt Children's Books, $14.95 (112pp) ISBN 978-0-15-282058-9

When Bry is killed by a hit-and-run driver, his brother Jesse faces seemingly endless pain. He grieves for his brother and struggles with overwhelming guilt and unanswerable questions, because he had been walking alongside the road with Bry when the drunk driver struck him. He wonders if he could have pulled his deaf brother, who could not have heard his shouts, out of harm's way. And he feels terrible because he was thinking about Chloe, Bry's girl, only seconds before the accident. That Jesse is still attracted to Chloe after Bry's death only augments his guilt. Determined to track down the drunken driver, Jesse's discoveries lead to more pain. Bunting conveys a strong anti-alcoholism message through an intriguing detective story; Jesse's search to understand what has occurred is realistically portrayed, and the novel ends with signs that he is beginning to accept his loss. Ages 12-up. (April)