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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.
Great book - wonderful,quirky characters and who can't love Daniel? The author succeeds in creating a super sad and hilarious book all rolled into one. Read morePublished 5 months ago by LeeAnn
You will enjoy Catcher Caught if you like coming of age stories. While the writing was uneven at times, the story is thought provoking and the characters are appealing. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Ki MacKay
I couldn't' get into this book. I felt no connection to the protagonist. Maybe better for younger readers enamoured with Salinger.Published 6 months ago by FLGal
Enjoyed the story line, I wasn't paying attention to the authors name and was surprised at the end that a woman had written as a teenage boy. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
Like most high school children of a certain era, I was made to read The Cathcer in the Rye. I didn't like it, maybe I even skipped reading it and read the Cliff notes instead. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Mary
I liked the book but it move a little slow for my taste. I wish it had more of an ending.Published 7 months ago by Russell A. Ambroziak
Written in first person. This novel rings true to thoughts that a 15 to 16 year old teenage boy might feel when he finds out he has an aggressive case of leukemia. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Dixie
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 8 months ago by Stephanie