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  • My Heart Fills with Happiness
  • Wolf Island

Pain & Wastings
By author: Carrie Mac
Selling Points: Relationships, coping, violence
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Pub Date: Apr/01/2008
Lexile Level: HL680L
Fry Reading Level: 3.6
Pages: 152
Fiction Ages 12+
Price:  $9.95
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"First dead person, kid?" John says as he pulls the ambulance into traffic.
I decide not to answer him, because I don’t want to get into it. I eye Holly, but she's not answering for me. How much does she know?

At fifteen, Ethan is on the fast track to nowhere. In and out of group homes and constantly in trouble, Ethan is fighting to find a sense of who he is. After breaking into an amusement park and being savaged by a police dog, he is befriended by a paramedic. Offered a choice of court or going on a ride-along in an ambulance, Ethan takes what he thinks is the easy way out. On Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, Ethan comes face to face with the horrific truth from his past and must learn to deal with where he came from—and where he is going.
The Horn Book Guide - October 1, 2008
"Heavy topics of drug abuse, prostitution, and murder make this a gritty and gripping story."
South Western Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group - September 16, 2008
"The characters are believable and compelling. The plot moves at a fast pace. Moreover, the graphic descriptions of ambulance calls make this book an excellent suggestion for male reluctant readers."
Resource Links - April 1, 2008
"Any teens who are fans of gritty, realistic fiction will enjoy this short novel."
CM Magazine - February 8, 2008
"[A] captivating main character and excellently-paced plot. Highly Recommended."


YALSA Quick Picks, short-listed  US  2009
CCBC Best Books, commended  CA  2009


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Teen fiction for
reluctant readers

Key Features:
Short, high-interest novels
Contemporary stories
Compelling characters
Linear plots
Ideal for Lit Circles
Ideal for Independent Reading

Teaching Resources:
Teachers' Guides
Resource Guide
Accelerated Reader selections
Lexile levels

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