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The Resource Torn away, Jennifer Brown

Torn away, Jennifer Brown

Label
Torn away
Title
Torn away
Statement of responsibility
Jennifer Brown
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
In the aftermath of a tornado that has devastated her hometown of Elizabeth, Missouri, sixteen-year-old Jersey Cameron struggles to overcome her grief as she is sent to live with her only surviving relatives
Storyline
Tone
Character
Award
YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2015.
Review
  • Grades 7-10 Whenever something horrible happens, you hear people say they ‘lost everything’ . . . But they have no idea what it’s really like to lose everything. Jersey, like many midwesterners, is jaded by frequent tornado warnings. But when a storm really does rip through her town, her home, and her family, it leaves in its wake an unimaginable hole in each of those areas of her life. As she picks up the pieces of her life and tries to mourn the death of her mother and little sister, she is confronted by another crisis when her stepfather forces her into the volatile home of her long-estranged father. Out of personal and public tragedy, Jersey struggles to find a path forward, a home, and a reason to keep putting one foot in front of the other. This is a gut-wrenching and poignant look at the aftermath of natural disaster and the secrets that families keep, written with raw honesty and deep emotion. -- Booth, Heather (Reviewed 05-15-2014) (Booklist, vol 110, number 18, p55)
  • Gr 8 Up — Jersey's entire life falls apart in a matter of minutes: a tornado kills her mother and her half-sister Marin and destroys their house. Though Jersey's stepfather, Ronnie, survives, he's too shocked to think about parenting, and so the teen is dispatched to live with the extended paternal family she's never met. Her biological father abandoned her years ago and shows no sign of wanting to mend their relationship, and the rest of the family—her stepmother, stepsisters, and paternal grandparents—either ignore or belittle her. Jersey nourishes herself with sporadic cell phone conversations from friends but fears that the foundation her old life was built on is quickly disappearing. Brown depicts Jersey's reaction to a frightening, life-altering situation expertly, and the protagonist's voice is authentic. For instance, a moment where one member of the family extends a rare kindness by offering to take her for a haircut prompts Jersey to realize that from now on, every decision, whether getting a haircut or deciding to take driver's ed lessons, she's truly on her own—something that will resonate with readers. However, secondary characters are not as fleshed out. Because the book opens with the life-changing tornado, it's hard to get a true sense of her friends, and the new family members tend to be stock types (a brusque, sullen father; a cleavage-baring, party-loving stepmother). The book wraps up a little fast, considering how bleak Jersey's situation is throughout, but readers will be heartened to see glimpses of hope on the horizon. Overall, this is a wrenching story of the will to survive at any cost.—Mahnaz Dar , School Library Journal --Mahnaz Dar (Reviewed May 1, 2014) (School Library Journal, vol 60, issue 5, p125)
  • When a tornado strikes Jersey’s hometown in Missouri, her house and neighborhood are destroyed, but her losses cut much deeper: her mother and five-year-old sister are among the many killed in the storm. Jersey counts on her stepfather to help her pick up the pieces, but a shell-shocked Donnie claims he can’t raise her, sending her to live with her biological father, an alcoholic who abandoned Jersey’s mother when Jersey was a baby. Jersey is horribly mistreated by his family, and after she runs away, she ends up with her last chance: her estranged maternal grandparents. Jersey was raised to hate them, but she begins to understand that her mother’s version of events may have omitted some crucial information. Brown (Thousand Words ) gives readers a true sense of the horror wrought by the storm and the agony of its aftermath; her ability to create rich, complex characters is once again in evidence. While the cruelty of Jersey’s father’s family is somewhat over the top, Jersey’s feelings are achingly real and relatable. Ages 12–up. Agent: Cori Deyoe, 3 Seas Literary Agency. (May) --Staff (Reviewed February 24, 2014) (Publishers Weekly, vol 261, issue 08, p)
  • Jersey Cameron has lived her whole life in Elizabeth, Mo., where the weather is unpredictable, and complaining about it is a full-time job. When Jersey's mother and little sister perish in a tornado, Jersey finds herself rejected by her guilt-ridden, emotionally paralyzed stepfather. He sends her to live in a house full of hostile strangers comprising her alcoholic biological father, who left Jersey and her mother when Jersey was a baby; his boorish wife and her two spoiled daughters (the Cinderella connection won't be lost on readers); and Jersey's heartless grandparents. Jersey is immediately put to work washing everyone else's dishes and is made to sleep on a sofa on the porch (sleeping among the ashes must have been considered too obvious). After a particularly nasty fight with the evil stepsisters, Jersey runs away and finds herself with another set of strangers: her mother's estranged parents. Readers may find themselves wanting to throttle Jersey by the middle of the book; while Brown starts off doing a wonderful job depicting the grief and depression that comes with such a catastrophic loss, Jersey ends up sounding whiny. The novel's didacticism—Jersey continually reflects on how good she had it before the tornado, regretting sharp words she can't take back—also causes it to lose its edge. A lukewarm story about finding family and starting over. (Fiction. 12-16)(Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2014)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10307708
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1972-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Brown, Jennifer
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.B814224
LC item number
To 2014
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 8
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Tornadoes
  • Grief
  • Families
  • Missouri
Target audience
adolescent
Label
Torn away, Jennifer Brown
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn850909340
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
276 pages
Isbn
9780316245531
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2013021598
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)850909340
Label
Torn away, Jennifer Brown
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
ocn850909340
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
First edition.
Extent
276 pages
Isbn
9780316245531
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2013021598
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
System control number
(OCoLC)850909340

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
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