11. February 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Angie, Contemporary Fiction, Fiction, Teen Books · Tags:

When Dad Killed Mom by Julius Lester, 192 pages, read by Angie, on 02/10/2013

Jenna and Jeremy are pulled out of school one day and informed that their dad killed their mom. He shot her in broad daylight on a city street in front of witnesses. Jenna, her father’s favorite, can’t come to terms with her dad doing something so awful. Jeremy, his mom’s favorite, wants nothing to do with his dad. The two kids have to deal with the aftermath of the killing and their father’s incarceration. They have to figure out what really happened and who their parents were. Jenna learns more about her parents from Karen, her father’s ex-wife and her mother’s friend. Jeremy finds his mother’s diary which reveals the events leading up to her death. Jenna and Jeremy must figure out how to live now that their lives are forever changed. They must figure out who they will be and who their family will be.

This book sucked me in and I really couldn’t put it down. The story is told through the alternating viewpoints of fifth grader Jeremy and eight grader Jenna. The have such different takes on what their lives have been like and who their parents are. I found their grief and their actions very realistic. I have never dealt with this kind of tragedy, but I felt like Jenna and Jeremy handled it in a way that most kids would. This book starts with a violent act, but it ends with hope and love and family. I would definitely recommend it.

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