Yesterday in my YA lit class, a student pulled a copy of A CHILD CALLED IT from the bookcase and remarked how much it circulated among the kids in her school. Today, I sat and read Nancy Werlin's newest book, THE RULES OF SURVIVAL, from cover to cover in a matter of an hour or two. I was reminded why books like A CHILD CALLED IT resonate. And I know THE RULES OF SURVIVAL will resonate with these same kids as well. One reason the book works is that, for some kids, it cuts through and tells the truth about what it is like to come from a house where abuse is the normal course of things in a day. A book can describe the hellish existence of a family like Matt, Callie. and Emmy, a house where a mother does unspeakable things to her children. For some kids, caught in the frightening arms of an abusive parent, this book tells the truth: it is tough to get help sometimes, but there is hope.
For the kids who do not live in a home like Matt, Callie, and Emmy, this book provides a safe place to experience the horrors of abuse, a place to confront the bully parents, a place to develop a sense of outrage, but most importantly, books like these provide the necessary distance to permit the experience to be SAFE.
Werlin pulls no punches in this frank book that examines, from Matt's perspective, what it is like to live with someone who can be abusive and neglectful, what it is like to long for normalcy or at least to long for someone to swoop in and save you. THE RULES OF SURVIVAL will find both groups of kids with our help.
Readers are fortunate that an author with the considerable skills of award winner Nancy Werlin reveal the truth through fiction.