The Way Back From Broken

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  • Author(s): Keyser, Amber J.
  • Publication Information:
    Minneapolis, MN : Carolrhoda Lab ®. 2015
  • Additional Information
    • Publication Type:
    • Abstract:
      Rakmen Cannon's life is turning out to be one sucker punch after another. His baby sister died in his arms, his parents are on the verge of divorce, and he's flunking out of high school. The only place he fits in is with the other art therapy kids stuck in the basement of Promise House, otherwise known as support group central. Not that he wants to be there. Talking doesn't bring back the dead. When he's shipped off to the Canadian wilderness with ten-year-old Jacey, another member of the support group, and her mom, his summer goes from bad to worse. He can't imagine how eight weeks of canoeing and camping could be anything but awful. Yet despite his expectations, the vast and unforgiving backcountry just might give Rakmen a chance to find the way back from broken... if he's brave enough to grab it. Amber J. Keyser's debut novel is a wrenching and brutally honest story of adversity and hope.
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    • Related ISBNs:
      9781467775908. 9781541514881. 9781467788175. 9781467789837.
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  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      KEYSER, A. J. The Way Back From Broken. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®, 2015. ISBN 9781467775908. Disponível em: Acesso em: 17 fev. 2020.
    • AMA:
      Keyser AJ. The Way Back From Broken. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®; 2015. Accessed February 17, 2020.
    • APA:
      Keyser, A. J. (2015). The Way Back From Broken. Carolrhoda Lab ®.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Keyser, Amber J. 2015. The Way Back From Broken. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®.
    • Harvard:
      Keyser, A. J. (2015) The Way Back From Broken. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®. Available at: (Accessed: 17 February 2020).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Keyser, AJ 2015, The Way Back From Broken, Carolrhoda Lab ®, Minneapolis, MN, viewed 17 February 2020, .
    • MLA:
      Keyser, Amber J. The Way Back From Broken. Carolrhoda Lab ®, 2015. EBSCOhost,
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Keyser, Amber J. The Way Back From Broken. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®, 2015.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Keyser AJ. The Way Back From Broken [Internet]. Minneapolis, MN: Carolrhoda Lab ®; 2015 [cited 2020 Feb 17]. Available from:


Booklist Reviews 2015 September #2

*Starred Review* Keyser's debut novel is an exquisite and enthralling exploration of loss, love, and healing. Rakmen, 15, is stuck going with his mother to what he calls the "dead baby club," a support group both for parents who have lost their children and for surviving siblings. Rakmen's baby sister, Dora, died in his arms, and he blames himself for not noticing that she was in distress until it was too late. The newest members are Mrs. Tatlas, his science teacher, whose child was stillborn, and her 10-year-old daughter, Jacey, who is immediately drawn to Rakmen. Though he has an uneasy relationship with the girl, since any brotherly feelings he has for Jacey remind him of his dead sister, to his surprise, he finds himself traveling to Canada with Jacey and Mrs. Tatlas and embarking on a long-distance canoe trip, paddling and portaging through the wilderness. Whether Keyser is describing sensations, like holding a baby or riding the rapids in a canoe, or Rakmen's palpable grief—"a sludgy wave of pain"—she does so with evocative language and a delicate touch. With a cast of diverse and well-rounded characters, poignant relationships that never become schmaltzy, and a compelling high-stakes adventure, this vivid, moving exploration of grief and recovery hits all the right notes. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2016 Spring

After the death of his baby sister, fifteen-year-old Rakmen reluctantly attends a support group where he encounters his similarly grieving science teacher and her ten-year-old daughter. The three take a camping trip in Canada where an impulsive canoe excursion takes a dangerous--and captivating--turn for the worse. This raw, tense novel explores and affirms the many painful manifestations of grief.