Rules of Survival

Living with an unpredictable, psychotic mother has taught Matthew how to survive. Constantly on alert, he and his sister, Callie, devotedly shelter their younger stepsister, Emmy, from their mother's abuse and worry about staying safe. Matt insists that fear isn't actually a bad thing . . . . It warns you to pay attention, because you're in danger. It tells you to do something, to act, to save yourself, but his terror is palpable in this haunting, powerful portrayal of domestic dysfunction, which is written in retrospect as a letter from Matt to Emmy.

High School
Nancy Werlin
Award winners
Contemporary Fiction