Scholastic Inc.

April 2005

$7.99 US

184p pb

ISBN: 978-0439489928

fp April 2004


Eireann Corrigan

from the book...

It's about the aftermath. It's about what happens after a stranger breaks into a house and attacks a family. It's about the sisters who barricaded themselves with their mother behind a splintering door while tethered on the phone to 911. It's about the father who nearly died. It's about the son who hid in the basement. It's about the days, the weeks, the months after. Nothing - not love, not life at school, not the tenuous bonds that held the family together - can survive unchanged. For Paulie and Jeremy, sister and brother, this means facing up to what happened and what's happening...or letting the family fall apart completely.

Told in alternating brother-sister perspectives, this is a powerful, moving story about a family that has its facade shattered by a random act of violence and must deal with everything that is revealed underneath. As she did in You Remind Me Of You, Eireann Corrigan uses poems to cut to the heart and the bone - with startling results.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

Splintering is about a normal, peaceful family who live near the ocean docks. One night a stranger breaks into their house and tries to attack them. The mother and her two daughters lock themselves in a room and reinforce the doors with bookshelves. The son and father are downstairs trying to fight the stranger off but fear beats the son so he runs and locks himself down in the basement. The father is left on his own downstairs, severely beaten. From here on the rest of the book is about the aftermath of that fearful night.

I thought Splintering was a good book once you got into it as it was a bit difficult to understand towards the start. The book goes into a lot of depth into each character. It tells you about each member of the family and what they think and how they live after the break in. I also liked the way the author Eireann Corrigan wrote about the characters; she also added flashbacks that each character had after the break in which was good.

Nathan, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

A man carrying a knife breaks into a house threatening everybody inside.  This one night is about the father who had a heart-attack protecting his family, the mother and two daughters who hid in a room upstairs with a few bookcases to hold the door shut waiting for the police to arrive and the son who wanted to help his dad but panicking at the last minute and hiding in the basement. Splintering is the aftermath of this tragic event.

Splintering is told in multiple views by the three siblings, Jeremy, the son, Mimi, the eldest daughter, and Paulie, the youngest. Splintering has a steady plot about Jeremy, Mimi and Paulie dealing with the effects and changes to each other caused by the attack on them. It is a great book, and is extremely hard to put down.

Since the break-in, Jeremy, Mimi and Paulie’s lives have been changed. From little things to almost full personality changes such as Paulie’s descent into drugs, rebelling against her mother and her new college student boyfriend, Evan. Splintering is a book that shows the effect of what a traumatic event can cause to a family; the author does this by having the different characters tell their point of view about what happened on that night and what is happening now.

Splintering is a great novel about a family dealing with the aftermath of a tragic event in their lives; it is an extremely hard book to put down. It is written by Eireann Corrigan and I recommend it for everybody aged 12 to 15.

Brady, Year 9, Canberra, Australia

Splintering is the aftermath of a family’s encounter with a deranged stranger, the father lies on the floor close to death after struggling with the stranger. The mother and two daughters hide in the bedroom upstairs barricading themselves in to stop the stranger in his tracks as he tries to break through the door, while, their brother sits under the stairs in the basement waiting for it all to go away. 

A ripple effect begins and each person in the family is affected and they try to find their own way to deal with the event; Paulie finds herself scared of what is behind her door so she set up a series of dead bolts and chains. Jeremy hates himself for going to the basement and hiding even though the rest of the family does not blame him. Mimi becomes a vegetable and spends her days purchasing items off the television. The story revolves around Jeremy and Paulie; you see the story from their points of view observing what has happened to each of them “after Baltimore” - the attack from the stranger.

The story is multi-voiced; it was interesting to see how both Jeremy and Paulie felt after Baltimore. I found the way they fought with each other was rather comical; such as Jeremy providing their father with false information about Paulie’s boyfriend or Paulie using the guilt that Jeremy has about hiding in the basement. I thought that the book ended rather abruptly and I would have liked to know what happens between Jeremy and Nina. I found myself more interested with what was going on between Jeremy and Nina than Paulie’s relationship with her college boy. I think that it would have been good if the book had voices from every member of the family, that way you could see how the actions of one would affect the others. If the story had been a little longer we might have seen how Jeremy went with his relationship with Nina, we could have seen how Mimi was after spending the last few months in her own little world and Paulie might have been able to deal with her fears. 

Overall, the book definitely had a story that caught my attention and pulled me in so I could not put it down. I enjoyed reading about each of the characters although I thought that the story needed to be a little longer but I would vouch that you all give it a spin.

Justin, Year 10, Canberra, Australia

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