A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Harlan Coben's first YA thriller has the action and attitude of his best-selling adult mysteries. There's a fair amount of violence, and the solution to the central puzzle involves both the Holocaust and human trafficking.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Having witnessed his father's death in a car crash and with his mother now in rehab, Mickey Bolitar is finding his first weeks at a new high school difficult. The only bright spot is his new girlfriend, Ashley, and when she disappears suddenly, Mickey vows to learn what happened to her. His quest will involve encounters with a mysterious elderly neighbor known as \"the Bat Lady\" and a creepy stalker with a tattooed face.
Is it any good?
Harlan Coben is the reigning champion of the "suburban noir" genre, and he successfully transfers the smart-alecky suspense of his Myron Bolitar mystery series for adults to this new YA series. SHELTER is full of his trademark plot twists and vision of the outskirts of Newark as a hot-bed of violent intrigue. When focused on Mickey and his high school friends and enemies, Shelter works well. When the action moves to the big, bad city, the strain begins to show. The dialogue becomes more stereotypical, and Mickey's exploits sound a little less believable.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what steps people should take if someone they know suddenly disappears. What resources are available to children and young people who lack parental guidance?
Mickey's understanding with his Uncle Myron is that he will agree to stay with him as long as Myron doesn't question him too closely about his activities or whereabouts. How realistic is such an arrangement? Does Mickey play fair by that understanding?
Mickey and his friends often need to stand up to the bullies who harass them. What are recommended methods for dealing with bullies? When and how should the authorities be contacted? You might want to check out our tips on standing up to bullies.
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