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Kat's Fall
By author: Shelley Hrdlitschka
Selling Points: family, jail, murder
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Apr/01/2004
Pages: 176
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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Staring out from the front page is a picture of Mom, and I swear she's looking me right in the eyes. The caption reads, "Attempted Murderer To Be Given Parole."

Darcy's mother is getting out of jail. Ten years ago she was convicted of throwing Darcy's baby sister off a fifth floor balcony. Kat survived, but Darcy has spent the last decade raising his sister, giving her the love and support she has been denied by an absent mother and an uncaring father. Now, with their mother about to be released, their father has decided he has had enough of parental responsibility and is determined to return the children to their mother's care. Darcy is horrified, and adamant that he will not subject his sister to the woman who once tried to murder her.

Struggling to understand and control the anger and resentment that has consumed him, Darcy is forced to confront his feelings and engage with the outside world. With newfound friendships and the unflagging support of his teacher, Darcy is able to understand some of the pain of the past and accept that he cannot control everything. As he grudgingly re-establishes ties with the mother he thinks he hates, he is accused of a horrific act. It will take incredible strength—his own and others—to fight the charges, but he finds that truth is often an elusive concept and that trust—and love—are powerful allies.


ALA Popular Paperbacks, long-listed  US  2006
YALSA Quick Picks, short-listed  US  2005
Arthur Ellis Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2005
BC Book Prize - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize nominee, short-listed  CA  2005
Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee, short-listed  CA  2005
New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age, commended  US  2005
White Pine nominee, runner-up  CA  2005

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