cover image Breaking the Fall

Breaking the Fall

Michael Cadnum / Author Viking Children's Books $15 (160p) ISB

This chilling novel focuses upon Stanley, a high school junior who attempts to cope with the confusion and chaos pervading his life. At home, his parents' marriage is breaking up; at school, he cannot concentrate; in both places, he feels anxious and uneasy. The only time the boy feels in control of his life is during the dangerous game he and his friend Jared play (breaking into houses and taking an item that proves they were there), pushing their courage and strength to the limit while daring fate to stop them. Gripping narration portrays the depth and darkness of Stanley's struggle; his uncontrollable desire to risk everything is both terrifying and enticing. Cadnum deftly captures the nuances of the relationships between his complex and intriguing characters. Eerie, suspense-laden prose powerfully depicts the frustrating, overwhelming and often painful process of traveling from youth toward adulthood. Ages 12-up. (Oct.)