Too Shattered for Mending
by Hoffmeister, Peter Brown






Struggling to stay in school while supporting a younger cousin in the wake of his older brother's arrest, Little avoids a police investigation into the disappearance of his grandfather before the threat of a poaching charge forces him to choose between his loyalties. By the author of This Is the Part Where You Laugh.





PETER BROWN HOFFMEISTER is the author of the critically acclaimed YA novel This Is the Part Where You Laugh, as well as the adult novel Graphic the Valley and a memoir, The End of Boys. A former troubled teen, Hoffmeister was expelled from three high schools, lived for a short while in a Greyhound bus station, was remanded to a recovery and parole program, and completed a wilderness experience for troubled youth. He went on to become a high school teacher and founded the Integrated Outdoor Program, serving teens of all backgrounds, taking them into wilderness areas to backpack, climb, spelunk, orienteer, and whitewater-raft. He lives with his wife and daughters in Eugene, Oregon.
 
Follow him at @peterbrownhoff.





As in This Is the Part Where You Laugh (2016), Hoffmeister's latest depicts a teenager trying to endure his relatives and life in poverty. Sixteen-year-old Little is trying to survive after his grandfather Big disappears. He looks after himself and his cousin while also controlling romantic feelings for his brother's girlfriend, Rowan. Believing Little knows something about the disappearance, police continually try to glean information from him. It's not long before Little is smothered in the secrets of others, all of whom want his loyalty. This is a raw and gritty book depicting someone attempting to thrive in harsh conditions. It is deliberately paced only until one becomes accustomed to the structure, wherein sporadic flashbacks provide information about what happened to Big, and readers begin to put the pieces together to understand what occurred. Hoffmeister's Mexican heritage is reflected through the main character. A compelling new work by Hoffmeister. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.





When 16-year-old Little McCardell's grandfather disappears, it is up to him to clean up the mess that's left behind. Hunger, violence, drugs, and hopelessness haunt the citizens of his impoverished Idaho town. But Little is determined to break free from his family's legacy. Desperate to find stronger roots, he even begins learning Spanish in hopes of feeling closer to his estranged Mexican father. He is determined to graduate and find a way to care for his young cousin, but his dyslexia is a constant battle. When an obsessed sheriff's deputy begins asking questions about his grandfather's whereabouts, Little must dig for information or risk becoming entangled in a dangerous world. Drugs, abuse, child pornography, casually crude language, drinking, and rape orient readers to the ample challenges that Little faces. But the unfolding mystery, lyrical language, and empathy for the characters make Hoffmeister's a story worth investing in. Little's determination, passion, and genui ne love for the broken people in his life keep this narrative from falling into despair. Short chapters, a sparse setting, and evocative characters combine to create a story that is more than the sum of its parts. Proof that even in the darkness, there can be light. (Fiction. 14-adult) Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.





late october

in the wilderness

I know the smell of pine loam moldering in the fall.

Watch a coyote hunt a house cat in the Chinese cemetery.

Native rainbow trout shake their heads at a 1⁄8 Rooster Tail spinner at midday, swallow it come evening.

I know that Rowan loves JT, even after he beat her.

the wanderer

Rowan smells like water. I told her that once. I said, “You smell like an eddy.” I was thinking of the North Fork of the Clearwater. The backcountry runs, rocks and pools, clean enough to see the trout cut to shadow.

Rowan was drinking a Monster in front of the Mini-­Mart. She said, “A what?”

She’d sliced the knees out of her jeans, scissored them way back to the side, and I kept looking at all that exposed skin.

I said, “Like an eddy on the river, when you wade in. You know?”

“When I wade in?”

“To fish,” I said.

She tilted her head, and the hair she’d pulled up bobbed to the left. “So I smell like a fish?”

“No,” I said, “not like a fish. You smell like an eddy.”

She smiled, already shaking her head, laughing at me.

I said, “Messing with me, huh?”

It was last school year. I was a freshman then, a year younger than her. I’d gotten more work in the cemetery and I imagined that I’d take her out, do something nice for her. Rowan was with JT but I tried to ignore that.

Rowan finished her Monster and threw the empty down on the cement. “I’ll see you around?” she said, and made a fish motion with her hand.






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