Theories Of Relativity

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9780006393009: Theories Of Relativity

THIS HARD-HITTING yet poignant novel shows that Barbara Haworth-Attard has as much talent with a contemporary setting as she does with her bestselling historical fiction titles. Sixteen-year-old Dylan is living on the streets, trying hard to understand how he got there. All he knows is that he doesn’t want to become like the other street kids around him, hooked on drugs and in debt to Brendan, a.k.a. Vulture. But as winter sets in, Dylan’s life becomes a desperate struggle to survive.

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About the Author:

BARBARA HAWORTH -ATTARD is an acclaimed children’s author, enjoyed by critics and readers alike. Theories of Relativity was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award, among other prizes, and Irish Chain was a Red Maple Honour Book, a Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award Honour Book and a finalist for the Geoffrey Bilson Award. Her other popular titles include Forget-Me-Not, Flying Geese, Home Child, Dark of the Moon, Truth Singer and Love-Lies-Bleeding. Barbara Haworth- Attard lives with her family in London, Ontario. Visit her website at www.barbarahaworthattard.com.

From School Library Journal:

Grade 7 Up–Dylan Wallace, 16, lives on the streets of an unnamed Canadian city. His cruel, useless mother threw him out to make ready for her fourth man, whom she hopes to marry. The teen's only refuges are a youth center, a 24-hour doughnut shop, and the library. He keeps a biography of Einstein with him and tries to make sense of theories of time travel and black holes in the context of his own lack of relatives. He tries to get a job, but he's too dirty to hire. He can either continue to panhandle or work the streets for Vulture, which Jenna, a sexually abused runaway, has been doing, first by begging, then by dealing and prostitution. When Dylan tries to get her away from the pimp, he is beaten and drugged. The prose is simple and direct, and the protagonist is a believable combination of bumbling and brave. As in Todd Strasser's Can't Get There from Here (S & S, 2004), the plot hinges on the drama of staying alive on the streets. While Strasser's narrator is flat and distant, Dylan's pain is acute and accessible. Long, bitterly cold nights set an appropriately bleak mood and remind readers of the protagonist's constant struggle to stay warm and fed. The use of Einstein's theories to mirror the isolation and inertia of street life feels forced and distracts from the considerable emotional impact of the narrative. This honest look at the desperation of teen homelessness is thought-provoking enough to spark discussion.–Johanna Lewis, New York Public Library
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