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Young Adult Fiction Parents

Kat's Fall

by (author) Shelley Hrdlitschka

Orca Book Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2004
Parents, Sexual Abuse, Law & Crime
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Apr 2004
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Apr 2004
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 12
  • Grade: 8 to 12
  • Reading age: 12


Darcy's mother is getting out of jail. Ten years ago she was convicted of throwing Darcy's baby sister off a fifth floor balcony. Kat survived, but Darcy has spent the last decade raising his sister, giving her the love and support she has been denied by an absent mother and an uncaring father. Now, with their mother about to be released, their father has decided he has had enough of parental responsibility and is determined to return the children to their mother's care. Darcy is horrified, and adamant that he will not subject his sister to the woman who once tried to murder her. Struggling to understand and control the anger and resentment that has consumed him, Darcy is forced to confront his feelings and engage with the outside world. With newfound friendships and the unflagging support of his teacher, Darcy is able to understand some of the pain of the past and accept that he cannot control everything. As he grudgingly re-establishes ties with the mother he thinks he hates, he is accused of a horrific act. It will take incredible strength--his own and others--to fight the charges, but he finds that truth is often an elusive concept and that trust--and love--are powerful allies.

About the author

Shelley Hrdlitschka discovered her love for children's literature while teaching school. She decided to try writing her own books, and is now the award-winning author of nine novels for teens, all published by Orca Book Publishers.

Shelley offers school and library presentations on the value of perseverance. She describes the pitfalls she encountered on her path to becoming a published author and discusses where ideas come from using examples from her books. She touches on numerous literary devices, tailored to the age of the audience. Shelley also reads from some of her many rejection letters-the part of the presentation that students seem to like most. She is also available for writing workshops.

Shelley lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia, with her three daughters and an assortment of animals. When she's not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practicing yoga or hidden away with a book and some good music. More information can be found at

Shelley Hrdlitschka's profile page


  • Long-listed, ALA Popular Paperbacks
  • Commended, New York Public Library's Books for the Teen Age
  • Short-listed, YALSA Quick Picks
  • Short-listed, Arthur Ellis Award nominee
  • Short-listed, Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Award nominee
  • Runner-up, White Pine nominee
  • Short-listed, BC Book Prize - Sheila A. Egoff Children's Literature Prize nominee

Excerpt: Kat's Fall (by (author) Shelley Hrdlitschka)

Staring out from the front page is a picture of Mom, and I swear she's looking me right in the eyes. The caption reads, "Attempted Murderer To Be Given Parole."

Other titles by Shelley Hrdlitschka