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Monday, August 20, 2012

the book stack

I now have another author that I must read everything he's ever written.

BRUISER by Neal Shusterman, Harper Collins Publishers, 2010.

Christy Rush-Levine nudged me to read Bruiser, since it is her favorite book by one of her favorite authors, Neal Shusterman. So as part of our 100 Book Celebration, I left the bookstore with a copy of my own. 

I read it quickly, as is typical for me, but the story has grabbed hold and won't let go of me. I'll be reading it again, studying it, trying to figure out exactly how Shusterman crafted the story. It is, quite simply, remarkable.

Told from the voices of four characters, it made my heart twist at some points and swell at others. There are not many books that have made me feel so deeply such a diverse range of emotions. I loved the characters and I hated them.

Of course I had to search out Neal Shusterman online. His website is elaborate, and he now has a new Twitter follower. These words, from his bio page, spoke to me.

I consider myself very lucky to have a career doing what I love. Of course it's a constant challenge to come up with stories that are original, meaningful, and capture the attention of readers. When I sit down to write, I always ask myself. "What is this book adding to the world? Why is it WORTH writing." Writing a good story is only the first part of it. I want my stories to resonate. I want the reader to not just read the words, but to FEEL the ideas and questions echoing deep inside. I don't like giving answers, because the only questions worth asking don't have simple answers. I prefer to ask questions that will challenge you to think, and see the world - and your own life - in fresh ways. The way I see it, a book should be a powerful experience. It should make you see new colors you never imagined existed - but now that you've seen them, you can see them everywhere.

I think you should pick up Bruiser. The sooner, the better.

Find out what others are reading and share your stack with:

Click on the image to see more reads at Teach Mentor Texts with Jen and Kellee.


  1. I am so glad you fell in love with Shusterman's work!

  2. We read his Unwind for our book club - it was definitely thought provoking. I also would like to read more of his books. Thanks for sharing the excerpt from his blog. Once again I enjoyed the insight into your process as a reader and writer of going back to books that really stick with you for the purpose of reflecting on why they were so powerful.

  3. Now, between you & Christy, I have two Shusterman's book on my wish list! Thanks for the review of this one, too, Ruth. It sounds great.

  4. I love EVERYTHING that Neal Shusterman writes. His books are always so unique and well written. I am glad that you enjoyed Bruiser.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  5. Hmm... I haven't read any of his books. May be time to branch out to a new author!


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