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Inspired by J.D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, (and the fact that today’s younger readers aren’t as inspired by it), Sarah Collins Honenberger gives us a compelling book about Daniel Solstice Landon who wants to follow in Holden Caulfield’s footsteps. The heartrending thing about Daniel? He has cancer and doesn’t have long to live, particularly since his hippie parents don’t believe in standard cancer treatment. As the discussion questions at the end of the book highlight, what exactly is a minor’s right to receive treatment? Against his parents’ will? And while that might feel clear and justifiable, how far along that line of minors’ rights do we go? And how do your actions affect others, even if you’re dying? Fascinating issues, and all of them are raised here with snappy dialog and humor, as well as sobering seriousness. But I should let you hear from the author herself rather than me. --Kathryn Erskine
Erskine: Why did you write this book?
Honenberger: Headline stories about kids whose parents refuse to follow standard medical treatment fascinated me. It’s hard to contradict your parents, but the possibility of dying raises the stakes. Coupled with the typical immortality teenage boys feel. I wanted to explore that 16-year-old boy’s point of view in the face of a fatal illness, to see if I could find out what might change his mind about that automatic belief in his own invincibility.
Erskine: Who or what has been the greatest inspiration for your stories?
Honenberger: In my 30 years of family law practice, I saw lots of families in distress. The wide discrepancy between what each party in a crisis feels and sees is one of the biggest reasons for family conflicts. Writing out those crises can illuminate those divergent realities. Stories often help people"walk in someone else’s shoes."
Erskine: Why do you write for young people?
Honenberger: I didn’t set out to write for young people in Catcher, Caught, but when I heard that today’s teenagers weren’t connecting with Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye, I thought that was a tragic loss. Holden’s story, his sadness, was a crucial part of my youth, seeing how quickly someone could feel lost and disconnected. I hoped by letting Daniel tell his story that today’s teenagers might connect with Holden’s issues, his sense of fairness and generosity of spirit despite his being on the outside, and his failures. In the end, even with his confusion and depression, he defends a strong morality in his analysis of suicide, sex, relationships with his brothers and his sister, and in how he treats the other prep school boys.
Erskine: How do your ideas come to you?
Honenberger: Something I overhear or see on the side of the road. It’s a visual, usually, that starts me thinking, why was that woman yelling or why was that man wearing his wading boots.
Erskine: What’s an important "nugget" that you’d like readers to take away from your book?
Honenberger: Life is shorter than you think and you’ll get more out of every experience if you remember it’s about the experience, not about you.
I enjoyed this story and the background of Catcher in the Rye but I was disappointed with the ending. I feel like I didn't get any closure.Published 10 days ago by Stephanie
very well written and intriguing. would help to have freshly read 'catcher' beforehand. would absolutely recommend to anyone as a leisure read.Published 16 days ago by doer
Although the story line is good & the characters are interesting, I like a story to have an ending. This book never let's you know the main characters fate which is what the story... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Texasstar
Story about a teenage boy with cancer and how he and his family deal with the illnesses adversities. Funny but emotional. EnjoyPublished 24 days ago by Retired and loving it! :-D
I was quite intrigued with this book. I can't believe people will do stupid things and put their children at risk.like.That. it kept my interest that's for surePublished 28 days ago by patsy lasala
It was a good book but not great. Amore of a teens book , I like non fiction better then fictionPublished 29 days ago by erseddrryihhhhyyggghhghgggttyhgfxxddssaweffxhfyjgghj9pjvv
I got through a few chapters, but most of what the main character says doesn't make sense unless you're familiar with Catcher in the Rye, which I am not.Published 1 month ago by Kirsten Forbes
I was really into this book. Loving the peaks and valleys and the unfettered access to the intimate thoughts of a sick young boy struggling on the road to manhood when it just... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Junkie
I started reading this and then decided that I needed to go back and re-read "Catcher in the Rye" first. Glad I did. It made this boo much more interesting. Read morePublished 1 month ago by FB Sandi