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By Kim Firmston

$9.95 Paperback
In Stock Ships in 24hrs or or less
$16.95 Hardback
In Stock Ships in 24hrs or or less
$8.95 Ebook
EPUB Not available
Series: Lorimer SideStreets

Rating: 0 vote(s).

Dan is a fairly normal fifteen-year-old -- he likes girls (obviously), hates school (ditto), and he lives to play bass guitar. But at home, things aren't normal at all. His mother is schizophrenic, and uses a system of numbers she's developed to determine if something is good or evil. She plasters the walls with pages of obscure calculations and lists of digits, and obsesses over them long into the night -- and her behaviour is only getting more and more erratic. One day, Dan's numbers turn bad, and she begins to threaten him physically. Dan could just run away, but he's worried about what would happen to the nine-year-old brother he's fought so hard to protect. All Dan wants is a normal life, but how can he keep his family together and keep them safe at the same time?


Commended - Starred Selection - Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre - 2012

Rated G - Good, even great at times, generally useful!
The home life [of the main characters is described in all its horrendous detail to make it real for the reader who may not have lived with mental illness.

- Patricia Jermey Resource Links

Kim Firmston has crafted a YA novel that has a simple plot and lots of depth. She brings up many rich and complex themes, such as the tension between home and school life, which makes this book a worthwhile read...viivid and uncompromising. High school teens who like books that have depth and grit will enjoy this book
Highly Recommended.

- Mark Mueller CM: Canadian Review of Materials

"Firmston is one of few authors who writes about schizophrenia from a teens point of view. The fear of not knowing is what underlies this story and is what makes this a page-turner. "

- Sherry Rampey VOYA (U.S.)

KIM FIRMSTON is a writer and creative writing instructor in Calgary, AB. Her short story "Life Before War" was shortlisted for the 2008 CBC Literary Awards.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 152 pages
Publication Date: 1st September 2011
ISBN: 9781552778715
Format: 7in x 4.25in

Binding: Hardback, 152 pages
Publication Date: 27th September 2011
ISBN: 9781552778722
Format: 7in x 4.25in

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 27th September 2011
ISBN: 9781552778739
Format: EPUB

BISAC Code:  JUV015020, JUV039010
Imprint: Lorimer

Interest age: From 14 To 18
Fry Reading Level [grade]: 3.1


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SideStreets Series

Edgy & realistic teen fiction

Series Website

Series features

  • Page-turning novels that engage reluctant readers
  • Presenting real-world issues in real ways
  • Award-winning, knowledgeable authors
  • Diverse characters and settings

"Sensitive and effective, these small, short books are explicitly aimed at reluctant readers." —Kirkus Reviews

"The quality of writing is excellent, and this book should be in every junior and senior- high school library...highly recommended."
—Canadian Book Review Annual

Sidestreets are edgy, fast-paced novels, that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short heart-stopping books - sure to engage the most reluctant reader.