By Charlie Price
(Roaring Brook Press, Hardcover, 9781596431904, 192pp.)
Publication Date: August 7, 2007
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YOU MEET THE NICEST PEOPLE IN THE LOBBY OF A PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL. The author of Dead Connection proves that what goes on in our minds just may be the scariest thing of all. Ben Mander's junior year is derailed when his mentally ill mother erupts in the school office. Visiting her in the psych hospital, Ben meets Marco, who also has a mentally ill mother. Marco tells a story that turns Ben's idea of reality upside down. Soon, the story begins to uncomfortably mirror Ben's own life. Lizard People races along the edge of madness as Ben wrestles with his greatest fear--that deep within him lie the seeds of his own insanity.
Charlie Price's debut novel, Dead Connection, is a Book Sense Children's Pick, a Publishers Weekly "Flying Starts" selection, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Publishers Weekly praised it as "superb and compulsively readable" in a starred review. He lives in northern California.
“Price writes honestly and with compassion about a number of issues: living with a parent who has a mental illness, the fear of inheriting this affliction, hoping for a cure, and the lack of support available for families. Characters are believable, and the plot, alternating between reality and the future land of the lizards, moves quickly and contains enough mystery to keep readers involved.” —School Library Journal
“Readers who enjoy a novel with a subversive streak will relish the gamesmanship in this idiosyncratic, genre-hopping story . . . Raising questions about time travel and using extremes of mental health, Price’s story taps into classic teenage feelings of alienation and gives them an original exploration.” —Publishers Weekly
“With wild, manic pacing, readers are pulled alongside Ben to discover what is real—and what is not—building to an unsettling conclusion that is sure to leave them talking about this psychological thriller long after the final page is turned.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A great book about mental illness. You are able to step inside the mind of someone who is suffering with this disease and also see the impact it has on a family. This book also has a couple mysteries intertwined keeping it action packed and interesting.” —Canton (Ohio) Public Library
“Price creates a strong, realistic view of a caretaker teen whose adolescence is hijacked by a parent’s mental illness . . . [His] graphic depiction of Ben’s gradual escape from reality into a future without mental illness is a powerful metaphor and a savvy message that brings real hope to readers.” —Booklist