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Teeth Hardcover – January 1, 2013

37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9-11-The premise of this book is that a magical fish impregnates a young woman, resulting in the birth of a half human/half sea creature. These fish, if eaten, can cure all kinds of diseases. Teeth rescues the fish he considers to be his brothers from fishermen's nets. When he is caught, he is beaten again and again, but always manages to escape. Rudy's family has moved to the island seeking a cure for his younger brother's cystic fibrosis. Rudy is so alone, restless, and bored that meeting Teeth results in an instant curiosity and connection. Diana, Teeth's sister, is lonely, too, and initiates contact with Rudy, apparently the only other teen on the island. This is a story of Rudy's path to identity and making choices in complicated circumstances. He loves his brother and is grateful when the fish help stem the disease but also understands Teeth's desire to rescue the fish from the nets. To allow Teeth to continue his mission will spell sickness for the islanders who have come to rely on the healing ability of the fish; to allow the fishermen to slowly beat Teeth to death is clearly wrong. In addition to these dilemmas, Rudy wonders about going to college and about how his family has changed since being on the island. This is an unusual story, narrated by Rudy, but his frequent use of obscenities seems unnecessary. In the end he finds a way to save Teeth, help his brother, and accept his place in life.-Joanne K. Cecere, Monroe-Woodbury High School, Central Valley, NYα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Moskowitz’s best novel since Break (2009) is actually reminiscent of that (literally) smashing debut: both books feature a teen struggling to protect his sick brother, and both deal with the extreme limits of noble self-harm. Rudy, 16, and his family have moved to “a place for last resorts,” a remote island that is the home of the rare silver Enki fish, purported to have unsurpassed restorative powers—just what Rudy’s 5-year-old brother, Dylan, needs to stave off death from cystic fibrosis. It is within the frigid ocean waves that Rudy encounters Teeth, an ugly, foul-mouthed half boy, half fish who is perpetually bruised and bloody from violent late-night encounters with cruel fishermen. The two become friends, maybe even more, but Teeth considers the fish his siblings, and Rudy needs the fish to feed his brother. Therein lies the conflict: how much is one of them willing to give up for the other? Despite the fantastical elements, this reads as realistic, even gritty, drama, fueled by Moskowitz’s brand of stream-of-consciousness wonder, tumbling emotion, and dark undertones. Her handling of each characters’ sexuality is particularly impressive in its refusal to generalize or simplify. Moskowitz’s prose has always had charm; pair it with a great plot and this is what happens. Grades 9-12. --Daniel Kraus

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442465328
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442465329
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,183,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hannah Moskowitz wrote her first story, about a kitten named Lilly on the run from cat hunters, for a contest when she was seven years old. It was disqualified for violence. Her first book, BREAK, was on the ALA's 2010 list of Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults. She is a student at The University of Maryland.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Step Into Fiction on January 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Let's talk about this cover. I am so excited to get this because I am hoping and praying this cover is going to be shiny. It has to be shiny. Do you know how amazing it'll look if it's shiny? Yes. I cannot wait. I'm a huge fan of Hannah! She's so unique and it certainly shows in all of her stories.

This book made me sad. A lot of her books make me sad. You'd wonder why I keep reading such sad books but it's because it's so good. Sad isn't always a bad thing. You feel more connected to the characters and you also feel like you wanna reach in the pages to give them a nice, big hug. This is how I felt for Fishboy most of the story but also for Rudy. He was forced to move to this remote island with his parents and younger, sick brother, Dylan. There are magic fish at this island that cure people who are sick. People with a tumor magically no longer have one, people with MS are magically cured and they're hoping for the same thing for Dylan. It works. These magic fish are making him better and it's a miracle. But what would happen if he would ever stop or if there was a fish shortage? Would he be fine or go back to how he was?

Fishboy isn't a merman but he's referred to as one by Rudy at first. He's got a human upper body but a tail and fin for his lower body with scales going all the way up to his chest. He's also got sharp teeth so he can eat easily. Rudy's never seen anything like him and isn't even quite sure he's real but he is, in fact, very real. He's got a story and it's somehow related to the Delaney's, whom are a mother-daughter duo that live closest to Rudy but never come out of their house. Rudy starts hanging out with Diana, the daughter, because she's the only other teen on this god forsaken island.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Heidi on January 16, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Rudy runs to the market, bare footed through the cold wet sand. He is uncertain as to why he refuses to wear shoes, he just does not want them on his feet. His shoeless attire probably is a reflection of the major changes that he has undergone over the last few months. Rudy and his family moved to this small secluded island looking for a magical cure for his five year old brother, Dylan, who suffers from cystic fibrosis. Living in the ocean off the shores of this island, are unique fish that have magical healing properties when eaten. No one knows how or why nor do they seem to care for as long as they eat the fish they are better. Torn from his friends and former life, Rudy tries hard not to be resentful. He does adore his brother and he is willing to make certain sacrifices, but it is awful lonely on this island as there are no other teenagers his age. That is until the day he meets the mysterious fish boy, Teeth. Teeth is half human, half boy and he guards the fish at a terrible price. Will Rudy be able to save his brother's life once he learns Teeth's secrets?

What I Liked:
*This is one of those books that left me completely perplexed. It is a book that I could see literature teachers loving as there are so many metaphorical inferences in this one. You could spend hours analyzing it. If you are someone that likes book with complicated themes and inferences, you should read this one.
*I liked the gritty, in your face writing style that Ms. Moskowitz uses for this book. I have said this before, I am a big fan of stream of consciousness narration and this book incorporates this style. Rudy is a teenage boy and he narrates this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Courtney Reads A Lot on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What in the fudge did I just read? I have no idea. I distinctly remember reading this book, but I'm at a loss for words or feelings or just anything that requires thinking. Teeth is the epitome of wtfery. I've heard it called gut-wrenching, beautiful, and haunting, and so many people have raved about it, but I just don't get all the fuss. Teeth has a sharp bite, but I'm not entirely sure why I'm hurting and to what purpose.

I am a crazed hunter of mindf*** books, but this one was just perplexing on so many levels. Enter stage left: older brother Rudy who is trapped on an island while his family tries to cure his brother's cystic fibrosis with magical flipping fish. You heard right. Magical fish. This aspect actually intrigued me, but let's go on. Said boy meets two people about his age while he is on this island. One is a girl named Diana who is kind of a homebody, seeing as her mother never lets her go out into the big, scary world. We can definitely tell this by her awkward social skills and the fact that she's learned everything from books and not personal experience. The other is half human, half fish. This just keeps getting more and more interesting. Rudy is torn between his brother's need for the fish in order to survive and Teeth's vehement protests against killing his brethren for the sake of the humans he hates.

Rudy was such a tool. He is a very realistic, angst filled teenager who thinks about sex frequently. Half the time, I wanted to punch him in the face. The other half, I admired his deep love for his brother and his concern for Teeth's welfare. I actually think the island made him a better, stronger individual; it gave him some much-needed perspective. He sounded kind of like a douchebag before his isolation.
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