Peyton Turner, HLA7, March 23, 2015

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Marvin Burke

Marvin Burke, a monster, is Ry's abusive father. He goes to prison for sewing Jo Beth to a mattress. Marvin broke out of jail when there was an explosion.


The story takes place on an old, run-down farm in August, 1981. The farm is located in rural Iowa.


It was hot in August, 1981. The Burke family lived on an old run down farm. in rural Iowa. Their monster of a father was in prison for the horrible crime he committed on Jo Beth, Ry's mother.
The farm used to not be that way when Marvin was around; he made sure it was always doing very well. Ry and Jo Beth were both abused by Marvin. Jo Beth was wonderful at sewing but Marvin would never let her so when he left she made a beautiful dress. That is when she left the farm die. Jo Beth, Ry, and Sarah were getting ready to move when they heard the news. There had been an explosion at Marvin's jail, and he had escaped. He was coming home to his ruined, beloved farm.
When Marvin comes home Ry has to resort to his imaginary friends that helped him through his younger years of abuse. After a freak meteor falls, everything changes. Marvin wants the meteor for the money. Marvin never got the money because he died in a fire that he had set himself. The neighbors helped Jo Beth, Ry, and Sarah leave.

Odyssey Award

The Odyssey Award started in 2008. The selection committee consists of eight people. It is named after Homer's eighth century poem Odyssey. It is an annual award. The criteria for the award is that it must peak a reader's interest, how its narrated, and quality of background/effects. The audiobooks must be written for children and young adults up to age 18. All genres are allowed. The book must be in English. The award tries to promote the skill of listening. It is given by the Association for Library Service to Children and the Young Adult Library Services Association. They will also give out Honor Titles. It is given out in January. It is sponsored by Booklist Magazine. The books can be single or full cast narration. The award is presented to the publisher.

Author Bio

Daniel Kraus is a writer, editor, and filmmaker. His book, Rotters is another of his award winners. He lives in Chicago. He won the Odyssey Award in 2014. Kraus directed six feature films and writes regularly for magazines. He writes horror stories for the thrill of the read. He writes about small towns because he fears isolation. Kraus credits his mom for for him being a horror writer because they watched The Twilight Zone together. He got his first agent by a random email. His eighth grade short story entitled Sickness inspired Scowler. He uses people that he's interested in but barely knows him as inspiration for characters. He writes stuff he would have liked as a kid. He is married. Father/son relationship intrigues him.

My Thoughts

I really liked this book because it kept my attention. I never wanted to put it down. Although I didn't listen to it in audiobook form, I found myself seeing the images in my head as I read them through the author's description of the events. I feel it fit the criteria for the Odyssey Award because it grabbed my attention throughout each chapter.