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The Guardian Hardcover – March 31, 2009
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Hunter feels abandoned after the death of his kindhearted foster father. With no respite from loneliness or his abusive foster mother, Hunter resumes praying to Gabriel, an angel Hunter believes visited him as a child. His prayers are answered all too clearly: the $10 needed to escape hazing appears in his locker, and then his antagonistic foster sister is harassed by a wild-haired biker. Confused, Hunter seeks counsel from a priest. Just as Hunter settles in to contemplating the role of divinity in his life, his “angel” reveals himself as his biological father, Gabriel Salvatore, recently released from prison for murdering Hunter’s birth mother. He abducts Hunter, who wants to escape yet relishes the opportunity to fill in the blanks about his past. Though the switch between the first and second parts of the book is somewhat jarring, the effect keeps the pace moving briskly. Hunter’s story finishes on a realistic but hopeful note. Sweeney’s latest is, like many of her previous, a notable choice for reluctant readers. Grades 7-9. --Heather Booth
“Hunter is a sympathetic hero, and his honest narration and the plentiful action will pull readers through to the end.”—Publishers Weekly
“Suspenseful and unexpectedly tender, this short, action-packed thriller will be an easy sell to reluctant readers.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Sweeney’s latest is, like many of her previous, a notable choice for reluctant readers.”—Booklist
“Well-paced, and with a satisfying conclusion, this book will appeal to reluctant readers and fans of contemporary realistic fiction.”—School Library Journal
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Acclaimed author and writing coach Joyce Sweeney weaves a tale that keeps the questions and fast-paced action popping. Teen and pre-teen readers, both boys and girls, but especially boys will like this story and root for Hunter's safety and happiness. Masterfully written, Sweeney's story shows her character's growth and determination as well as the emotional needs and trials of children in the foster care system. All the characters are well-drawn and real. I'm an adult reader who found myself worrying about them. Loved the twists and surprises along the way in this excellent story.
This guardian wears a black, leather-fringed jacket, drives a Gold Wing motorcycle and is not what Hunter had envisioned. In THE GUARDIAN, Joyce Sweeney artfully weaves together a 13-year-old's tender hopes with his gritty reality in a fast-paced read many teens are sure to enjoy!
-- Reviewed by Michelle Delisle
I really liked this book! I would say it's a quick, light read, but even thought it's 177 pgs long, there is nothing light about it. It can get intense, unpredictable, crazy, and even pull at your heart strings at times.
Many of the things that happened I just could never have predicted! It was just so surprising and sad!!! I really, really REALLY wanted things to end differently for him, but oh well. You will feel so sad for Hunter and by the time you've read the first ten pages, you'll be cheering for him and wanting him to just be happy. Trust me, it may start out slow but it gets intense then you just don't want to stop reading until you're finished and you find out what will happen with Hunter.
I highly recommend this book so go out and get it now!
From inside the book:
The distant growl of a motorcycle engine wakes me up and I wonder if I'm going crazy. That's something I actually worry about a lot. Dr. Phil did this whole show on what kind of kids are prone to turn out bad and it was my biography.
..but when she says this, it's as if she reached into my chest and grabbed my heart.
YOU WILL ENJOY READING THIS BOOK IF YOU LIKE:
-reading about foster kids
-awesome covers (If you notice on the back there are tire tracks!)