Monday, May 20, 2013

Take 5: What's My Name Again? Stories about teens in the Witness Protection program

Identity is such a huge part of the teenage years.  When most teens are simply trying to figure out who they are, some teens are being yanked out of the comfort of their everyday lives and given new identities.  Since today we are talking about The Rules for Disappearing by Ashley Elston, I present you with 5 more stories about teens in the Witness Protection program.

Hush by Jacqueline Woodson


Evie Thomas is not who she used to be. Once she had a best friend, a happy home and a loving grandmother living nearby. Once her name was Toswiah. Now, everything is different. Her family has been forced to move to a new place and change their identities. But that's not all that has changed. (Google book synopsis)

I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier


Adam Farmer is on a journey - he has to get to Rutterburg with a parcel for his father. But as he travels, he starts to remember the events leading up to this point, memories which are also being prised out in gruelling psychiatric interviews. What is the secret of Adam Farmer? And what will happen when he finds out? (Goodreads synopsis)

Payback Time by Carl Deuker


Through the eyes of a distinctly non-athletic protagonist—a fat high school journalist named Mitch—veteran sports novelist Deuker reveals the surprising truth behind a mysterious football player named Angel.  When Angel shows up Lincoln High, he seems to have no past—or at least not one he is willing to discuss.  Though Mitch gets a glimpse of Angel's incredible talent off the field, Angel rarely allows himself to shine on the field.  Is he an undercover cop, wonders Mitch?  Or an ineligible player?  In pursuit of a killer story, Mitch decides to find out just who this player is and what he's done.  In the end, the truth surprises everyone. (Goodreads synopsis)

When I Was Joe by Keren David



When Ty witnesses the knife murder of another boy he identifies some very dangerous people and the police put him and his mother into hiding in a witness protection scheme. While they are packing, a petrol bomb is thrown through the front door of their flat, highlighting the extreme danger they face. Over the coming months, Ty becomes Joe, is given a new look and starts at a new school. To his surprise, he finds he is attracting the attention of the girls in his class, and the boys find his need to conceal his real identity cool - being Joe is not so bad. His ability as a runner is spotted and he starts training under a college student, a wheelchair user who is a Paralympics contender, but this special treatment attracts resentment. Somehow Joe keeps drawing attention to himself despite his efforts to remain anonymous. Then his beloved grandmother back in London is badly injured in an attack designed to flush Ty out of hiding and demonstrates the relentless determination to silence him.This wonderfully gripping and intelligent novel movingly depicts Ty/Joe's confusing sense of identity in extreme danger - a remarkable debut from a great new writing talent.  (from Goodreads)

And one for adults, or maybe it is new adults now . . .

The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristifano



When Melody Grace McCartney was six years old, she and her parents witnessed an act of violence so brutal that it changed their lives forever. The federal government lured them into the Witness Protection Program with the promise of safety, and they went gratefully. But the program took Melody's name, her home, her innocence, and, ultimately, her family. She's been May Adams, Karen Smith, Anne Johnson, and countless others--everyone but the one person she longs to be: herself. So when the feds spirit her off to begin yet another new life in another town, she's stunned when a man confronts her and calls her by her real name. Jonathan Bovaro, the mafioso sent to hunt her down, knows her, the real her, and it's a dangerous thrill that Melody can't resist. He's insistent that she's just a pawn in the government's war against the Bovaro family. But can she trust her life and her identity to this vicious stranger whose acts of violence are legendary? (Goodreads summary)

If I was going to join the Witness Protection Program and got to pick my name, it would totally be Marissa. What name would you pick? Tweet us at #WPname.

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