Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12
D'Arcy's dad is dead. She desperately wants it to have been an accident, but she is not sure. And when she learns the truth, things become even more difficult. Why would her father choose suicide? Why didn't she see the signs? Her father had always helped her get through everything in her life—five minutes at a time. Can she do it alone? And then she meets Seth. When will things get back to normal? Learning to live without her father while her mother struggles with her own pain, D'Arcy finds an inner strength she wasn't aware of. She also finds that almost anything is tolerable for five minutes more.
About the author
Darlene Ryan has been writing for as long as she can remember, although she pursued post-secondary degrees in biology and education. Despite being endlessly fascinated by theories on the origin of the universe, she decided she wasn't cut out to be a scientist and returned to writing. Darlene was the 2006 poet recipient of the Dr. Marilyn Trenholme Counsell Early Childhood Literacy Award. As Sofie Kelly, she writes the best-selling Magical Cats mysteries. She lives with her family in Fredericton, New Brunswick. More information is available at www.darleneryan.com.
- Short-listed, Ann Connor Brimer Award nominee
- Commended, CCBC Best Books
- Commended, YALSA Quick Picks
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
Excerpt: Five Minutes More (by (author) Darlene Ryan)
Every hand I shake, I look into the person's face and wonder what they know. It didn't say in the announcement in the paper. Maybe they think my dad had a heart attack while he was driving. I don't want anyone to know. Because it's not like we really know for sure. I don't want people talking about him and thinking he did something when nobody knows for sure that he did.
"[A] heart-breaking book...but sometimes sadness is necessary in life... it's a process we all go through and it yearns to be written about...The emotional aspect of this was perfect."
A Patchwork of Books blog
"Ryan presents teenagers living with devastatingly emotional situations...Well written."
"A very realistic, engaging story. D'Arcy's emotions come flowing through the pages to the reader...The story would offer hope and help to anyone who has lost someone to death - not just suicide. I highly recommend it for the high school library."
Southwestern Ohio Young Adult Materials Review Group
"A novel that resonates with complex and realistic characters who exhibit a wide range of emotions...Authentic characters, real passions surrounding both death and life and an interesting plot which revolves around the difficult yet not uncommon issue of suicide: young adult fiction doesn't get much better than this. Highly Recommended."
"[D'Arcy's] discovery of herself as a daughter, friend and person ensues throughout the novel as D'Arcy overcomes numerous obstacles in a journey to find inner strength."
"Ryan treats this sensitive topic with care and understanding…Readers will readily identify with D'Arcy's emotional turmoil…The imaginative experience of the novel will help them appreciate the meaning of suicide and the ways one can cope with it."
Canadian Teacher Magazine