Synopses & Reviews
?Los Angeles! City of tanned shoulders! Smog-spewing, pay-per-viewing, sit-com maker for the world!?
Del?s put in 17 years there, bouncing among foster homes. Smart, sharp-tongued, a master mimic, she?s fed up with her world and with being Del. So she?s faked her own death and is leaving both herself and L.A. behind?until her escape lands her in an all-day traffic jam.
Fast-forward eight years. It?s opening night for the one-woman play she?s written and is starring in?a show called Breakout, about a Los Angeles traffic jam. Wildly funny, she seems to be skewering workaholics, road ragers, pickup artists, and car culture in general. But readers will see what her audience can?t?that the show is a portrait of herself, of her hunger for her mother and her terror of rejection, her free-floating identity and yearning for connection.
Flashing between Del?s present and future, Breakout gives us a backstage pass into a young playwright?s psyche, letting us watch her life being transformed into a art, heartache into comedy, solitude into community, and anger gradually giving way to acceptance.
"Del is a believable teen, poised on the edge of something new but not quite yet sure where her talents will take her. Fleischman's artful structure, distinctive voices, and carefully chosen details make this a splendid choice for teens on the verge of a breakout of their own." School Library Journal
"A stunning tour de force." Kirkus Reviews
"Splicing together related vignettes, as he has done successfully in the past, Fleischman here allows the real and imagined events to blend, supplementing and augmenting each other. This blending is both the novel's strength and its weakness." Publishers Weekly
Key NotesA girl's journey from alienation to a true epiphany by Newbery medalist Paul Fleischman.
This National Book Award finalist is now in paperback. Growing up in foster care, Del pens a one-woman play about a Los Angeles traffic jam, providing readers with a backstage pass into a young playwright's psyche as her play parallels her own life.