Micol Ostow family

ISBN 13: 9781606841556

family

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9781606841556: family
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i have always been broken.
i could have. died.
and maybe it would have been better if i had.
 
It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda Jensen hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and—best of all—a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry’s family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs.  And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go.
Told in episodic verse, family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they’ll go to to make themselves “whole” again.

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About the Author:

The only thing MICOL OSTOW enjoys more than reading and writing is being scared out of her ever-lovin’ wits. When she was 12, her father gifted her with a copy of Helter Skelter. Needless to say, it made an impact. 

Micol is the author of So Punk Rock (and Other Ways to Disappoint Your Mother), which was named a Sydney Taylor Notable Book for Teens, and which Booklist called “a rollicking, witty, and ultra-contemporary book that drums on the funny bone and reverberates through the heart.” She received her MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and currently runs a popular young adult writing workshop through MediaBistro.com.

Micol lives and works in New York City with her filmmaker husband and a finicky French bulldog. Visit Micol at: www.micolostow.com.

Review:

"A fictionalized examination of cult behaviors in general and the Manson family in particular, told in episodic free verse, may not be for the faint of heart, but it makes for absorbing psychodrama. Any reader who knows the history will find tension from the first page, even as seventeen-year-old Melinda, the book's narrator, assures us she has found her savior in Henry, who will help her sever ties with her horrific family. Her new 'family' seems to consist of mostly drugged, sexually willing young women who vaguely resemble her, a fact that will be clearer to the reader than it is, tragically, to Melinda. Indeed, it is only far too late that Melinda snaps back into independent thinking, and readers are left with a deeply flawed protagonist whom they will nonetheless forgive and root for as she struggles, for a second time, to survive the choices of those around her. The portrait of the Manson-like Henry, viewed only through Melinda's adoring perspective, lacks some of the sharp charisma that one would expect of a cult leader; while this may make it more difficult for modern readers to understand how he gathered so many who were willing to murder and die for him, it also emphasizes the way environmental factors (drugs, lack of sleep, removal from the larger world) can play a dramatic role in the way cults expand and evolve. The short, sparse verses used in the 'after' poems elevate and chillingly lay bare the seemingly inevitable violence. Since it's a provocative exploration, it's too bad that there's no additional reading list, as readers will be interested in learning more about Manson and his followers." --The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

--Journal

"Given the young participants and the elements of drugs, sex, music, and hero worship, the Charles Manson murders practically scream out for a YA treatment. This free-verse interpretation is not the engrossing epic many will want, though some will dig the book's surgical focus upon the psyche of one character: 16-yearold homeless abuse-survivor Mel. She meets Henry (our Manson stand-in) on the streets of San Francisco and, after an initiation via drugs, is incorporated into Henry's 'family'--a ragtag gang of drifters who believe Henry is a holy figure whose message will shake the world. Ostow's yearning prose poetry ('i am only hollowed-out spaces. / i am only the opposite of matter') relies too much on repetition, and entire pages go by restating Mel's mental state. The biggest issue is Mel's lack of growth; she starts and ends as a cipher, making it difficult for the reader to appreciate Henry's influence. Thankfully, Ostow's Henry is fascinating, a pied piper hell-bent on reaching the masses, whether through love or terror. The subject alone should make this popular." --Booklist

--Journal

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ISBN 10:  1606843931 ISBN 13:  9781606843932
Publisher: Egmont Publishing, 2013
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Book Description Egmont USA, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. I have always been broken. I could have died. And maybe it would have been better if i had. It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and--best of all--a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry's family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go. Told in episodic verse, Family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they'll go to to make themselves "whole" again. Seller Inventory # FLT9781606841556

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Book Description Egmont USA, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. I have always been broken. I could have died. And maybe it would have been better if i had. It is a day like any other when seventeen-year-old Melinda hits the road for San Francisco, leaving behind her fractured home life and a constant assault on her self-esteem. Henry is the handsome, charismatic man who comes upon her, collapsed on a park bench, and offers love, a bright new consciousness, and--best of all--a family. One that will embrace her and give her love. Because family is what Mel has never really had. And this new family, Henry's family, shares everything. They share the chores, their bodies, and their beliefs. And if Mel truly wants to belong, she will share in everything they do. No matter what the family does, or how far they go. Told in episodic verse, Family is a fictionalized exploration of cult dynamics, loosely based on the Manson Family murders of 1969. It is an unflinching look at people who are born broken, and the lengths they'll go to to make themselves "whole" again. Seller Inventory # FLT9781606841556

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