Catch & Release

  • Interest Level: Grade 9 - Grade 12
  • Reading Level: Grade 7

I should have died quick. But I didn’t. I’m a miracle of modern medicine, only the medicine doesn’t get much credit, I notice. People say I’m lucky, or I’m blessed, and then they turn away.

I’m not the only miracle. There’s Odd too.

Polly Furnas had The Plan for the future. Get married to Bridger Morgan, for one. College, career, babies. Etc. All the important choices were made.

It was all happily-ever-after as a diamond-ring commercial.

But The Plan did not include a lethal drug-resistant infection. It did not include “some more reconstruction and scar revision in the future." And it certainly did not include Odd Estes, a trip to Portland in an ancient Cadillac to “tear Bridger a new one,” fly fishing, marshmallows, Crisco, or a loaded gun.

But plans change. Stories get revised and new choices must be made.

Polly and Odd have choices. Surviving or not. Catch or release.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 9 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 7
Genre Young Adult
Copyright 2012
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 216
Publication Date 2014-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.3
Text Type Fiction
BISACS YAF023010, YAF011000, YAF059030
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.25 x 7.5
Lexile 690
ATOS Reading Level 4.4
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 148965
Accelerated Reader® Points 7.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Author: Blythe Woolston

Blythe Woolston is a reader. Right now, she makes her living indexing scholarly books. She has also worked as a writing teacher, library clerk, and production coordinator for a computer book publisher. Writing books is a new way for her to love reading.


  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults, Winner, 2013
  • Kirkus Best Teen Books of the Year, Winner, 2012


The Horn Book Guide

“Polly, a self-described ‘monster,’ is disfigured following a staph infection that killed several others in her town. She and Odd, another teen who survived the infection, embark on a road trip that takes them through the Pacific Northwest—and into honest discussions about the nature of disability and the drive to survive. Woolston offers an unusual perspective on healing in this nuanced story.”

The ALAN Review

“A compelling and beautiful tale of trials and triumph.” —The ALAN Review

Library Media Connection

“This is a powerful, can’t-stop-reading tale of when the life you intended is not the one you have, and that is especially wrenching when you are 17.” —Library Media Connection

School Library Journal

“This is a novel about acceptance and moving on when life throws a curveball.” —School Library Journal


“Woolston’s novel offers intriguing characters, contemporary ethical questions, and a story that will have appeal to a wide range of readers.” —Booklist

Publishers Weekly

“Morris Award–winner Woolston (The Freak Observer) forces readers to re-evaluate life’s random cruelties and the idea of ‘survival,’ as she brings her characters to the brink of death, then tosses them back in the water.” —Publishers Weekly

Kirkus Reviews

“This is not a romance, but a tale of two people thrown together after their world has been turned upside down. Each is unique, vividly complicated and true. Engaging writing and characters lift this above the typical clichéd story of disabled teens. Heartbreakingly honest.” —Kirkus Reviews