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Seventeen-year-old Matt Foster thought that if he could only get his hands on his brother’s stuff from Iraq, he’d be able to make sense of his death. He wasn’t expecting T.J.’s personal effects to raise even more questions about his life.
Now, even if it means pushing his dad over the edge...
even if it means losing his best friend...
even if it means getting expelled from school...
Matt will do whatever it takes to find out the truth about his brother’s past.
With compassion, humor, and a compelling narrative voice, E. M. Kokie explores grief and self-discovery in this powerful first novel.
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E. M. Kokie is a lawyer who has long had an interest in literature for teens. She says, “Being a lawyer isn’t so different from being a writer — the same observant and analytical nature that helps me see a dispute from multiple points of view also helps me get inside the head of a character and see the world through his eyes. From the beginning, Matt’s voice felt so strong and real to me — I could practically taste his anger and frustration. I wrote the rest of the novel to get to know him better, to figure out why he was so angry.” E. M. Kokie lives in Madison, Wisconsin.From School Library Journal:
Gr 10 Up-In this gripping debut novel that doesn't pull punches, Matt, 17, is still reeling from the death of his brother, T.J., who was killed while serving in Iraq. He's getting into fights at school, his grades are falling, and he's becoming distant with his friend and crush, Shauna. When three trunks of T.J.'s belongings arrive on his doorstep, Matt discovers his brother's long-time relationship with Celia Carson by reading through stacks of letters. At the bottom of the trunk, still sealed and addressed in T.J.'s handwriting, is the last letter his brother wrote to Celia, but never got to send. An impromptu road trip from Pennsylvania to hand deliver the letter sounds like a great escape from final exams and his volatile and violent father. However, in Wisconsin, Matt discovers a side to his brother he never knew: T.J. was gay and had a long-term relationship with Celia's brother. Could this be the incentive Matt needs to break away from his father's blind insistence that he pursue a future in the military? Kokie beautifully crafts a story about the troubled relationships between an emotionally stunted father and his two sons. Both T.J. and Matt are forced to deal with their own pain in secret. A strong choice for reluctant readers and lovers of realistic fiction alike.-Richelle Roth, Boone County Public Library, KYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Book Description Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, 2012. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1469206374