T is Torn Away, by Jennifer Brown (book review) – tornado tears apart her family & life

book cover of Torn Away by Jennifer Brown published by Little Brown Books for Young ReadersThe tornado smashed her house,
killed her mom and half-sister,
whirled away what she knew as truth…

As tornado season revs up in the Midwest and South, please be sure that your family has disaster plan in place for the likely perils in your area, including the part that Jersey’s family forgot – where to meet up when the all-clear sounds.

You’ll find this sad-but-hopeful 2014 book at your local library or independent bookstore with Jennifer Brown’s other strong books about teens in difficult situations.

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Book info: Torn Away / Jennifer Brown. Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2014.  [author site]  [publisher site] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.

My book talk: As she is shuffled from her estranged dad’s house to the grandparents she never knew, Jersey regrets her harsh words to Mom and little sister on the day that a tornado swept them away.

Jersey did go into the basement when the warning sirens began, but couldn’t imagine that the tornado would really touch down in her Missouri neighborhood – or crush the dance studio with Mom and five-year-old Marin in it.

Her stepdad is devastated by their deaths and can’t cope with anything, so Jersey must go live with her alcoholic dad who abandoned them and his new family. So far away from her friends, unable to come home for any of the funerals…

Stashing tiny notes about what her mom and half-sister liked best in the old purse Marin loved, trying not to make problems for dad’s extended family who’d very grudgingly taken her in, things go from bad to terrible for the high school junior, and Jersey is forced to meet Mom’s parents who disowned her when she married.

How can she catch her fading memories of Marin and Mom?
Why don’t any of the relatives’ stories line up with what Mom told her?
Will anything ever feel right again?

Have a handkerchief handy – Jersey’s story of loss is so real and so true.  (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)

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