The Way Back from Broken

  • Interest Level: Grade 6 - Grade 12   ·  
  • Reading Level: Grade 6

Rakmen Cannon’s life is turning out to be one sucker punch after another. His baby sister died in his arms, his parents are on the verge of divorce, and he’s flunking out of high school. The only place he fits in is with the other art therapy kids stuck in the basement of Promise House, otherwise known as support group central. Not that he wants to be there. Talking doesn’t bring back the dead.

When he’s shipped off to the Canadian wilderness with ten-year-old Jacey, another member of the support group, and her mom, his summer goes from bad to worse. He can’t imagine how eight weeks of canoeing and camping could be anything but awful.

Yet despite his expectations, the vast and unforgiving backcountry just might give Rakmen a chance to find the way back from broken . . . if he’s brave enough to grab it.

Amber J. Keyser’s debut novel is a wrenching and brutally honest story of adversity and hope.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
978-1-54151-488-1
$9.99 $9.99
978-1-46778-817-5
$26.99 $20.99
Interest Level Grade 6 - Grade 12
Reading Level Grade 6
Genre Fiction, Young Adult
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Lab ®
Language English
Number of Pages 216
Publication Date 2015-10-01
BISACS YAF018000, YAF001000, YAF058050
Dewey [Fic]
Dimensions 5.875 x 9
Lexile 680
ATOS Reading Level 4.8
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 178204
Accelerated Reader® Points 9.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Reviewed, and Starred Reviews

Awards

  • Oregon Book Award Finalist, Short-listed, 2017
  • ALAN Pick, Winner, 2015

Reviews

VOYA

“This book is a heartbreaker, but any reader can benefit from its message of honesty, resilience, and courage.”—VOYA

Booklist

“With a cast of diverse well-rounded characters, poignant relationships that never become schmaltzy, and a compelling high-stakes adventure, this vivid, moving exploration of grief and recovery hits all the right notes.”—starred, Booklist

School Library Journal

“Rare in its honesty. . . . A subtly touching tale of liberation from grief that, with its sincere existential questioning, will stay with readers.”—School Library Journal

Kirkus Reviews

“A quiet and memorable story of how paddling in the wilderness forces two unlikely friends to face their grief and embrace their power.”―Kirkus Reviews

E. M. Kokie

“An impressive debut novel that takes readers on a journey rich in emotion and adventure.”―E. M. Kokie, author of Personal Effects

Sara Ryan

The Way Back from Broken is compelling and unrelenting—a story for anyone trying to find their own way back.” —Sara Ryan, author of Bad Houses and The Rules for Hearts

Author: Amber J. Keyser

Evolutionary biologist-turned-author Amber J. Keyser has a MS in zoology and a PhD in genetics. She writes both fiction and non-fiction for tweens and teens. Her young adult novels include Pointe, Claw (Carolrhoda Lab, 2017), an explosive story about two girls claiming the territory of their own bodies, and The Way Back from Broken (Carolrhoda Lab, 2015), a heart-wrenching novel of loss and survival (and a finalist for the Oregon Book Award). She is the co-author with Kiersi Burkhart of the middle grade series Quartz Creek Ranch (Darby Creek, 2017). Her nonfiction titles include The V-Word (Beyond Words/SimonTeen, 2016), an anthology of personal essays by women about first-time sexual experiences (Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer list, New York Public Library Best Book for Teens and Chicago Public Library Best Nonfiction for Teens) and Sneaker Century: A History of Athletic Shoes (Twenty-First Century Books, 2015), among numerous other titles. Her forthcoming books include Tying the Knot: A World History of Marriage (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018) and Underneath It All: The History of Women's Underwear (Twenty-First Century Books, 2018). More information at www.amberjkeyser.com. Connect with Amber on Twitter @amberjkeyser.