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Teeth

by Hannah Moskowitz

Published by Simon Pulse, 2013
246 pages
ISBN: 978𢴒42465329,

Age 14 and older

Rudy抯 family moved to a remote island to treat his younger brother Dylan抯 severe cystic fibrosis. Dylan is now getting better thanks to consuming the magical fish found in the surrounding waters. At first Rudy feels isolated on the island, then he meets two other teenagers: Diana, who has grown up on the island, and Teeth, half-boy, half-fish, who lives in the ocean. Rudy and Diana hook up dispassionately, while Rudy抯 deepening relationship with Teeth affects him deeply. Teeth tries to sabotage the fishermen抯 efforts to catch the magical fish, whom he considers his brothers. The fishermen regularly abuse Teeth in return. As Rudy gets closer to Teeth, he is moved by this strange boy抯 clarity and conviction and harsh, honest assessment of the world as he understands it. He抯 also intrigued by questions about Teeth抯 past. When Teeth抯 efforts to free the fish from nets become more successful, the abuse escalates. So, too, do Dylan抯 symptoms as fish become scarce in the market. Teeth抯 suffering at the hands of the fishermen is unbearable to see, but if Rudy helps him and the fish continue to go free, it means watching his little brother struggle, and probably die. Hannah Moskowitz抯 messy, complicated novel challenges readers in the best ways. There is no right moral answer, just unsettling questions in a story that is rich with mystery and a strong sense of place, and in which the developing love between Rudy and Teeth is never explicitly stated but beautifully revealed.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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