The Rules of Survival

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This National Book Award Finalist is a thought-provoking exploration of emotional abuse, self-reliance and the nature of evil. A heart-wrenching portrait of family crisis, this is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
 
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, physically abusive mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses a man named Murdoch coming to a child’s rescue in a convenience store; and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. Then, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt’s mother. Life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitable breaks up with their mother, Matt knows that he’ll need to take some action. Can he call upon Murdoch to be his hero? Or will Matt have to take measures into his own hands?
 
A gripping, powerful novel that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. Nancy Werlin, the New York Times Bestselling author of Impossible, shows why she is a master of her genre.
 
 
“[A] dark but hopeful tale, with pacing and suspense guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.”—Booklist (starred review)
 
“Beautifully framed as a letter from Matthew to his younger sister, the suspense is paced to keep Matthew’s survival and personal revelations chock-full of dramatic tension. Bring tissues.”—Kirkus (starred review)
 
“Grace and insight.”—School Library Journal (starred review)
 
National Book Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
ALA Best Books of the Year
ALA Quick Pick

 

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About the author

Nancy Werlin was born and raised in Peabody, Massachusetts, USA and now lives near Boston. She received her bachelor's degree in English from Yale.

Since then, she has worked as a technical writer and editor for several computer software and Internet companies, while also writing fiction.She is a National Book Award finalist.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Mar 13, 2008
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Pages
304
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ISBN
9781101576267
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Language
English
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Genres
Young Adult Fiction / Family / Siblings
Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings
Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Physical & Emotional Abuse
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

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A white girl from the South dreams of becoming a blues singer in this novel by the National Book Award-winning author of Dancing on the Edge.
 
Janie has seen a lot of trouble as the daughter of a heroin addict—revolving foster homes, physical abuse, and more. There’s not a soul on earth she can really trust. But her “ladies”—Etta James, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan—help to keep her going. She may be white, but she finds a sense of identity in the music and culture of her African-American foster brother, Harmon.
 
At sixteen, she’s renamed herself Leshaya, and considers herself a survivor—though the tumult of her childhood has taken a fierce emotional toll. Nevertheless, she’s determined to make a life for herself, by taking her own blues on the road and doing the only thing that makes her feel whole . . . singing.
 
Born at the bottom, and dreaming of the top, Leshaya will need to confront everything that has come before. But the draw of the only life she’s ever known could take more than a song to beat.
 
A YALSA Best Book for Young Adults and a Kentucky Bluegrass Award Nominee, “this searing novel . . . asks essential questions about how to reclaim oneself and build a life.” —Booklist
 
“This novel is raw, rough, and riveting. The writing is superb; like the blues, it bores down through the soul, probing at unpleasant truths and wringing out compassion. Readers will be absorbed.” —School Library Journal
 
“Absolutely riveting . . . Leshaya captivates with her strength and determination.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)
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