Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Aftershock by Kelly Easton


From School Library Journal
In a state of shock, 17-year-old Adam walks away from the scene of the car accident that has killed his parents. Stranded on a lonely road in rural Idaho, he heads east, on foot, as random snippets of memory wander in and out of his mind. Too traumatized to speak, his silence is misinterpreted by the succession of characters he meets on the odyssey home to Rhode Island. Stumbling upon a Wiccan meeting in a forest, he is taken in by one of the chatty young women and takes a job as a dishwasher in a local diner, where he is treated as deaf. Weeks later, he hitchhikes with a trucker and finds backbreaking work in Colorado fields with Mexican migrant farmers. He struggles to survive as he devours a frozen pizza found in a taxidermist's cabin, sleeps in a Dumpster, crashes a picnic, and steals a car. The adventures intertwine with thoughts about his girlfriend, locker-room antics, his parents, their bookstore, and his autistic cousin–spontaneously, as if his mind has short-circuited from the crash. Adam, though still mute, arrives home emotionally ready to accept his parents' death. While some situations seem far-fetched and there is some raw language, readers will be caught up in the teen's predicament.–Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY