Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hothouse (fiction)

Hero dads?
Reckless heroism?
Negligent heroes?

Losing your dad is difficult at any age; losing the dad you idolized and emulated, just as you're about to join him in an amazing career together is terrible.

But to have your hero dad suddenly called a villain by the same people he protected and served as a firefighter his whole life? Devastating.

How will Russ and DJ cope with the loss of their firefighter dads during their senior year, especially now that the whole town has turned against them?

Hothouse packs so much emotion into its 208 pages that this intense story has been included on several recent booklists for older teens - catch it at your local library or independent bookstore.

Book info: Hothouse / Chris Lynch. HarperTeen, 2010. [author interview] [publisher site] [book trailer/recap]

Recommendation: Two dads – best friends forever, their sons named for each other, firefighters together, dead in a flash.

Their sons must start their senior year of high school without them, their wives wish they could hear the phone ring again from the “Hothouse” fire station. Their community honors the memory of David and Russell as “Outrageous Courageous” heroes and treats sons Russ and DJ like heroes, too.

Russ had always planned to be a firefighter like his dad, practicing his skills at Young Firefighters, ready to graduate from high school, enter the Fire Academy, and work alongside his dad to keep their city safe.

But a house fire rescue gone wrong has changed that, at least the part about working with his dad. No one at school knows how to talk to Russ about it, and now the investigation into the firefighters’ deaths is raising questions about whether they were really fit to work that rescue call.

The danger and stress that firefighters face every day can be so hard on them and their families. What is courage? When are heroes not heroes? How can Russ keep going when old questions get new answers? (One of 5,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com) Review copy courtesy of the publisher.

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