Parkinson, Sioban, Long Story Short. Roaring Brook Press, 2011. Pgs. 151. Language: PG-13 (4 swears, 2 ”f”s), Violence: PG-13, Sexual Content: PG
14-year-old Jonathan and his 8-year-old sister are family. Dad left them and mom turned into an alcoholic. In an attempt to help his sister escape from being beaten anymore by mom, they runaway together. Only Jonathan can’t take care of his sister and tries to drop her off at their father’s home. In the process, he gets caught by the police and charged with the murder of his mother. Jonathan is read to end it all, but a social worker comes to his aid and tells him how much his sister needs him. Can Jonathan find a way to be there for his sister?
The Irish dialect is a little hard to understand and the content is a little hard to take in. The plot, however, is well-developed and the reader can’t help but feel sympathy for the characters as they come full circle and learn one of the greatest lessons in life. Readers who like books with mature content as found in books by authors like Walter Dean Myers and Laurie Halse Anderson and deal with self-discovery and dysfunctional families will enjoy reading this book. MS, HS. OPTIONAL. Reviewer: Kira M, Youth Services Librarian, WHI Public Library.