Miguel’s dad is at it again—physically abusing his mom and sister and terrorizing Miguel for no good reason. But when Miguel’s mom and sister, who have been whispering to one another for some time, decide to stand up to the abuse and move to a women’s shelter, Miguel’s life begins to take turns he never expected. After the family moves out, it isn’t long before Miguel’s dad promises to change his ways before once again becoming abusive; leaving Miguel to summon the courage to stand up to the man he thought he loved. This emotional and stirring novel is told from the point of view of a young man who is torn between the love he feels for his abusive father and the responsibility to protect his family.

In memory of Patricia Aust, who passed away in June, 2012, a portion of the royalties from the sale of SHELTER will be donated to the women’s shelter where she volunteered.

". . . . for young readers facing the issue of domestic violence at home, this narrative could offer some hope. . . . this novel has value for the tough subject matter it addresses." —Kirkus Reviews

"What I really liked about this book was that Miguel's mom got her and her sister out. It was not all pretty flowers though...I am also happy that the author wrote this book, which I assume was not easy, to help spread awareness." ~ Deal Sharing Aunt

"Sometimes a book comes along and makes an impact not only on your heart but your very soul itself and Shelter is one of those books." ~Sabrina's Paranormal Palace

"This story goes full circle of the shelter life. From just starting out, to the family finding their way out and back into the world. Their life has changed, they've been through a rollercoaster of ups and downs, but together, minus the negative member, they will make a new life together." ~Words to Dream /> /> "Shelter is a story about being strong and getting through the struggles of not being wanted and having doubts about everything. It shows the reader the harsh reality of what children go through." ~ Spiced Latte Reviews /> /> "Shelter: It's a story about survival. Plain and simple. The intense plot and excellent writing made me feel their pain…it's a moving story that brings to light the struggles some families endure, and what might be hiding behind your neighbors' doors without you even knowing." ~Insane About Books /> /> "This is an absolutely amazing book. There’s a lot to admire here, but the thing that keeps sticking with me is just how realistic it feels." ~Kelly Vision /> /> "A great diverse book. Ask for Shelter at your local library or favorite independent bookstore. Share Miguel’s story with others once you’ve finished for some it will be interesting information; for others it will be the hope and knowledge that they need to escape family violence." ~Books YA Love /> /> "The wife was smart to get away from him even though it was hard and scary because now she’ll be safe and so will her kids. /> I rate this book a 5!" /> Reviewed by Liam, Age 10 /> /> "This was an unflinching portrayal of abuse, but I liked how the mother and children were able to remove themselves from the situation and stay strong enough not to go back. It was interesting to see Ellie portrayed as being in a similar relationship, but able to identify the abusive behavior and distance herself from Diego. The different processes, like getting a restraining order and filing for custody, were interesting. For some reason, seventh graders really want problem novels about halfway through the year, and this will be a great addition to my collection." ~ Ms. Yingling Reads /> /> "This book is written in first-person present tense from Miguel's point of view. At 15, Miguel lives with his oldest sister, mother, and abusive father. They move to a shelter after a particularly brutal evening, where Dad injures mother, sister, and dog. Although they are told not to give away the shelter's location, it's hard for Miguel and Ellie to keep quiet and they text their friends often. When Mom, Miguel and Ellie return to their home to retrieve their possessions, Dad threatens Mom with a gun. Miguel uses his Tae Kwon Do training to break Dad's arm and dislodge the gun. The dynamics of abuse, from the attack to apology to another attack, are vividly portrayed. Information about shelters, court dates, and restraining orders is also included. This novel would be of interest to teen readers, especially those dealing with an abusive relationship." ~Alexey W. Root, PhD, Senior Lecturer, University of Texas, Dallas /> RECOMMENDED

Pat Aust's life revolved around helping other people. She recognized that for as many children as there were in the battered women's shelter where she volunteered as a children’s counselor, there were many more that still were being abused. This book was accepted for publication just before she passed away from cancer on June 12, 2012. Her hope was that this book might help victims of domestic violence to break the cycle.

After she retired from a career in child welfare and specialized foster care, and working for more than 20 years as a public school social worker, she served on various boards of mental health and learning disabilities as well as the Connecticut Task Force on Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. She belonged to the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, played in her church’s bell choir, and edited Circuit, the newsletter of the Learning Disabilities Association of Connecticut. What she loved most, though, was writing middle-grade and young adult novels. A portion of the royalties from the sale of SHELTER will be donated to the women’s shelter where she volunteered.

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CategoryChildrens - Teens
Publication Date2014-05-01
Publication StatusIn Print
Trim Size5 1/2 x 8
Page Count200

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