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A new novel by Jodi Picoult is always an event. Her latest is getting a BIG publicity push — check out this photo from Times Square (from her Facebook page).
Ever since the publication of My Sister’s Keeper, teens have been aware of the author, and fans tend to enjoy her novels whether they have any overt teen appeal or not. Lone Wolf centers around an adult, Luke, but his 17-year-old daughter fights her older brother in court when Luke slips into a coma after a terrible accident.
As usual, Picoult addresses provocative questions. This time (from the authors homepage):
- If we can keep people who have no hope for recovery alive artificially, should they also be allowed to die artificially?
- Does the potential to save someone else’s life with a donated organ balance the act of hastening another’s death?
- When a father’s life hangs in the balance, which sibling should get to decide his fate?
Picoult’s next book is her first published for a young adult audience. Picoult and her teenage daughter Samantha van Leer will publish Between the Lines in June. The publisher description begins, “Delilah is a bit of a loner who prefers spending her time in the school library with her head in a book—one book in particular.”
Adult/High School–Picoult takes on another controversial issue–this time, the termination of life support. A flawed family is torn apart by Luke, the father, a well-known wolf researcher. He leaves his family to live in the Canadian wilderness for nearly two years to become a part of a wolf pack. Upon his return, he’s torn between both worlds and can’t fit in. His wife feels his distance, his daughter, Cara, wonders why she’s not enough for him to live in her world, and his son, Edward, attempts to tell him he’s gay and abruptly leaves the country. Brought together five years later by a car accident that leaves Luke in a coma and Cara injured, the family members struggle with guilt, feelings of abandonment, feelings of never “measuring up,” and the agonizing conflict between being told that there’s no chance for recovery and hoping for a miracle. To decide their father’s guardianship, Edward and Cara enter into a contentious court battle. The novel is told from multiple viewpoints including Luke’s many commentaries on wolf behavior. Though teens may be put off by Edward and Cara’s childish and destructive behavior, they will likely cheer for their ultimate reconciliation. The wolf behavior entries are fascinating, and the parallels to Luke’s family will not be lost on readers.–Jane Ritter, Mill Valley School District, CA
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About Angela Carstensen
Angela Carstensen is Head Librarian and an Upper School Librarian at Convent of the Sacred Heart in New York City. Angela served on the Alex Awards committee for four years, chairing the 2008 committee, and chaired the first YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adult committee in 2009. Recently, she edited Outstanding Books for the College Bound: Titles and Programs for a New Generation (ALA Editions, 2011). Contact her via Twitter @AngeReads.
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