Arthur A. Levine Books, New York, 2010
Borrowed from the library.
From the author of Marcelo in the Real World.
Seventeen-year-old Pancho Sanchez is on his own. After the death of his father and what Pancho believes was the murder of his sister, he is placed at St. Anthony’s until he turns eighteen. There he meets Daniel Quentin, a young man his age, diagnosed with cancer who, when not taking about things Pancho doesn’t really understand, spends his time writing the Death Warrior’s Manifesto.
“Okay, the answer to the question “Why You?” has no answer at this time. I don’t know exactly why you. We’ll find out soon, I’m sure. But I do know that you’re the one. I knew you were the one when you drove in yesterday. The hard part to explain is how I knew. Let’s just say that one of the benefits of this illness is the increased power to recognize a gut feeling and take it seriously. I knew someone would come to help me. It had to be the right person. You are it.”
“Help you do what?” Pancho leaned backwards and the stool wobbled. He grabbed onto the wall.
“Help me with…the preparations. Help me and I will help you.”
“I don’t need help with anything.”
“I can read it in your eyes. There is something you want to do. No. I’d say it’s more like there’s something you feel you need to do. It’s eating you.
“How do you know that?” He sounded more alarmed than he wanted to. From page 40.”
Pancho is filled with anger, on a hunt for his sister’s murderer and planning revenge. Meeting D.Q., spending time with him and other wonderful characters, forces him out of himself, forces him to look at his life in a different way. Stork uses wonderfully clear and direct story telling to create a fine novel for young adults. I believe he wrote this before Marcelo, and even though it is not quite as polished as that book, I enjoyed it and recommend it.