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Flinn, Alex.
New York : HarperTempest, 2004.
ISBN 0060517514

(2 booktalks)

Booktalk #1

Michael Daye is in hiding.  He has taken on a new identity as Robert Frost and has joined the carnival.  He now runs the Whack-a-Mole booth and tries to forget.  He tries to forget what his life was like a year ago.  Before he ran away.  But now the carnival is back in Miami and the memories are flooding back in.  Memories of his abusive stepfather.  Of his helpless mother.  Of the times he had tried to get her to leave.  But there is no where to escape now.  He's back and his mother's trial is set to begin.  Her trial for the murder of the man who beat her on a regular basis.  Is there anything that Michael can do now to help his mother?  After years of not being able to help her, maybe now is the time.

Booktalk #2

It’s been almost a year since Michael’s life changed forever. A year in which he has been in hiding—hiding from his mother, hiding from the police, and hiding from his own memories. On the fateful night that he ran away, joined the carnival and assumed the name, Robert Frost, he believed he could leave his past behind. He met a new girl, made new friends, and spent his days and nights running the Whack-a-Mole booth and trying to forget his old life. But now the carnival has returned to Miami and Michael is confronted with his past at every turn. He thought he could escape, but here he is, back where he started. He is haunted by the memories--memories of his cruel and abusive stepfather, of his weak and vulnerable mother, and of the events of that last, terrible night.  Now his mother is on trial for murdering his stepfather and this time there’s nowhere to run. Is there anything Michael can do to help his mother?  Does he really want to help her after she refused to leave when he begged her to go? Can he reveal the secret he is hiding or is it already too late for both of them? Read Nothing to Lose by Alex Flinn to learn what Michael decides. (Prepared by: Mary Lou Elliott, SCASL Young Adult Book Awards)

SUBJECTS:     Runaways -- Fiction.
                        Wife abuse -- Fiction.
                        Murder -- Fiction.
                        Mothers and sons -- Fiction.
                        Trials (Murder) -- Fiction.
                        Miami (Fla.) -- Fiction.


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