The Rules of Survival

By Nancy Werlin
(Dial Books, Hardcover, 9780803730014, 259pp.)

Publication Date: September 7, 2006

List Price: $17.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.
Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



This National Book Award Finalist is a thought-provoking exploration of emotional abuse, self-reliance and the nature of evil. A heart-wrenching portrait of family crisis, this is perfect for fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak and Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why.
For Matt and his sisters, life with their cruel, physically abusive mother is a day-to-day struggle for survival. But then Matt witnesses a man named Murdoch coming to a child’s rescue in a convenience store; and for the first time, he feels a glimmer of hope. Then, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt’s mother. Life is suddenly almost good. But the relief lasts only a short time. When Murdoch inevitable breaks up with their mother, Matt knows that he’ll need to take some action. Can he call upon Murdoch to be his hero? Or will Matt have to take measures into his own hands?
A gripping, powerful novel that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. Nancy Werlin, the New York Times Bestselling author of Impossible, shows why she is a master of her genre.
[A] dark but hopeful tale, with pacing and suspense guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.”Booklist (starred review)
Beautifully framed as a letter from Matthew to his younger sister, the suspense is paced to keep Matthew’s survival and personal revelations chock-full of dramatic tension. Bring tissues.”Kirkus (starred review)
Grace and insight.”School Library Journal (starred review)
National Book Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize Finalist
ALA Best Books of the Year
ALA Quick Pick


About the Author
Nancy Werlin is a New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award Finalist, and Edgar Award winner. She lives with her husband near Boston.

Praise For The Rules of Survival

“Guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.”—Booklist, starred review

“Werlin tackles [this topic] with grace and insight.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“A heartbreaking tale of abuse and love . . . . Beautifully framed.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“The plot moves swiftly and unrelentlessly….”—VOYA highlight

Indie Bookstore Finder
EBbooks and EReaders
Find great gifts: Signed books
Link to IndieBound

Update Profile