Las reglas de supervivencia de Matt

Gr 8-Up—Matt, 13, has learned over the years how to survive the ups and downs that life with his abusive mother brings. The oldest of three kids, he feels responsible for his younger sisters and does his best to take care of them while avoiding their mother's wrath. During a trip to the store one day, he is amazed to see a stranger defend another child from an abusive parent. When this stranger suddenly begins dating their mom, life for the three siblings becomes safe, even happy—but only for a short time. After the relationship ends, their mother's behavior grows even more erratic than before, prompting Matt to reach out to her ex and ask for his help. The story is written five years later in the form of a letter from Matt to his youngest sister, reminding her of the tough times they endured when she was too little to remember. The first-person narrative brings the story to life, and the short chapters keep the action going and help to sustain a sense of urgency. Werlin does an excellent job of portraying verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse and the terror it can produce.—Erica Kindrick, Yolo County Library, CA

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