Patricia McCormick

Patricia McCormick is the author of several highly-acclaimed books for young adults. She began writing for newspapers and magazines, but, after completing a master's degree in creative writing at the New School, concentrated almost exclusively on writing fiction. In 2004 she was named a New York Foundation on the Arts fellow. She lives in New York City. Cut was her first novel.
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A teenager's attempt to maintain psychological integrity-the maladaptive coping mechanisms she uses as a way to stay alive and her path to recovery. You say it's up to me to do the talking. You lean forward, place a box of tissues in front of me and your black leather chair groans, like a living thing. Like the cow it used to be before somebody killed it and turned it into a chair in a shrink's office in a loony bin. Fifteen-year old Callie is so withdrawn that she's not speaking to anyone -including her therapist at the residential treatment facility where her parents and doctor send her after discovering that she cuts herself. Her story unfolds primarily through dramatic monologues, gradually revealing the family turmoil that led to her self-destructive behavior. Her little brother, Sam, is ill -he nearly died in her care. Since Sam's illness, Callie's mother has become so worried and fragile, she rarely leaves the house; she sees danger everywhere. Her father has responded to the psychological and financial stress of Sam's illness by disappearing into his work, and when that doesn't work, into his drinking. None of this is clear at first, though, especially not to Callie. Only after a cutting incident that scares her, does Callie begin talking -to her therapist and the other girls at Sea Pines. Cut alternates between scenes of life inside the institution with its strange rules and characters and a series of exchanges between Callie and her therapist in which she addresses the therapist only as you. Callie's efforts to understand herself and her family illuminate her process of recovery honestly and with hope. Cut provides an insightful look at the psychology of cutting -a form of self-abuse an estimated 2 million teenage girls inflict on themselves.
Perfect for fans of suspenseful nonfiction such as books by Steve Sheinkin, this is a page-turning narrative about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and pacifist who became an unlikely hero during World War II and took part in a plot to kill Hitler. Written by two-time National Book Award finalist Patricia McCormick, author of Sold and Never Fall Down and coauthor of the young reader’s edition of I Am Malala.

It was April 5, 1943, and the Gestapo would arrive any minute. Dietrich Bonhoeffer had been expecting this day for a long time. He had put his papers in order—and left a few notes specifically for Hitler’s men to see. Two SS agents climbed the stairs and told the boyish-looking Bonhoeffer to come with them. He calmly said good-bye to his parents, put his Bible under his arm, and left. Upstairs there was proof, in his own handwriting, that this quiet young minister was part of a conspiracy to kill Adolf Hitler.

This compelling, brilliantly researched account includes the remarkable discovery that Bonhoeffer was one of the first people to provide evidence to the Allies that Jews were being deported to death camps. It takes readers from his privileged early childhood to the studies and travel that would introduce him to peace activists around the world—eventually putting this gentle, scholarly pacifist on a deadly course to assassinate one of the most ruthless dictators in history. The Plot to Kill Hitler provides fascinating insights into what makes someone stand up for what’s right when no one else is standing with you. It is a question that every generation must answer again and again.

With black-and-white photographs, fascinating sidebars, and thoroughly researched details, this book should be essential reading.

Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch with her best friend from school, and having her mother brush her hair by the light of an oil lamp. But when the harsh Himalayan monsoons wash away all that remains of the family's crops, Lakshmi's stepfather says she must leave home and take a job to support her family. He introduces her to a glamorous stranger who tells her she will find her a job as a maid in the city. Glad to be able to help, Lakshmi journeys to India and arrives at "Happiness House" full of hope. But she soon learns the unthinkable truth: she has been sold into prostitution. An old woman named Mumtaz rules the brothel with cruelty and cunning. She tells Lakshmi that she is trapped there until she can pay off her family's debt—then cheats Lakshmi of her meager earnings so that she can never leave. Lakshmi's life becomes a nightmare from which she cannot escape. Still, she lives by her mother's words— Simply to endure is to triumph—and gradually, she forms friendships with the other girls that enable her to survive in this terrifying new world. Then the day comes when she must make a decision—will she risk everything for a chance to reclaim her life? Written in spare and evocative vignettes, this powerful novel renders a world that is as unimaginable as it is real, and a girl who not only survives but triumphs.
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