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Without even noticing it, 15-year old Katherine has become the head of her household. Her single mother, who recently lost her job, has been drinking for weeks and has not gotten out of bed since. Katherine is now left to take care of her three younger siblings, 14-year-old Douglas, 13-year-old Tracey, and eight-year-old Alisa.
Each day gets more difficult to maintain any stability, they are quickly running out of food and money, and their teachers are starting to get suspicious. When Alisa becomes obsessed with finding the door to the imaginary land of Narnia, Katherine realizes that her youngest sister may be losing her grip on reality. The longer they try to maintain their pretense of normality, the more they have to fear and to lose.
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Teens are always fascinated by the idea of running life on their own, free of parental interference. But what happens when reality sets in--when the laundry piles up, the sink overflows, you run out of money for food, and your little sister starts getting very sick? In A Door Near Here, winner of the annual Delacorte Prize for Best First Young Adult Novel, Heather Quarles shows readers that "no parents" is no fun. The mother of the four Donovan kids has taken to her bed and bottle, only stumbling out of her pigsty of a room occasionally in search of more vodka. Katharine, the eldest at 15, tries to keep her brother and sisters clean and fed and in classes, but things are slipping out of her control--especially when 8-year-old Alisa decides to run away from school in search of the kingdom of Narnia. Katharine can't turn to their cold and selfish father for help, so the four siblings cling to their secrets--terrified that an adult, seeing beneath the appearances they are desperately trying to uphold, will alert Social Services. When a kindly teacher begins to ask questions, Katharine panics and lashes out with an accusation that could well destroy this concerned man--only to be met with an act of breathtaking forgiveness. Both teens and adults will find the poignant resolution of this compelling novel utterly engrossing. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty CampbellFrom the Publisher:
"The contemporary setting and inventive solutions to sticky conflicts...keep the material fresh, and Katherine's candid narrative voice joins with skillful pacing to mark an especially auspicious first novel."
--Publishers Weekly, starred review
Heather Quarles is the winner of the 15th annual Delacorte Press Prize for First Young Adult Novel. Ms. Quarles is able to bring humor and hope to the potentially devastating topic of keeping a family together in the face of alcoholism.
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Book Description Delacorte Books, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. New item. May have light shelf wear. Seller Inventory # 160713129
Book Description Delacorte Books, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0385325959
Book Description Delacorte Books, 1998. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0385325959
Book Description Delacorte Books, 1998. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110385325959