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Being Henry David
by Cal Armistead


Overview - Seventeen-year-old Hank has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything who he is, where he came from, why he s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David or Hank and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts.  Read more...

 
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More About Being Henry David by Cal Armistead
 
 
 
Overview
Seventeen-year-old Hank has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything who he is, where he came from, why he s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden, by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David or Hank and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead s remarkable debut novel is about a teen in search of himself. Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past. The only way Hank can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past, to stop running, and to find his way home."

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780807506158
  • ISBN-10: 080750615X
  • Publisher: Aw Teen
  • Publish Date: March 2013
  • Page Count: 312
  • Reading Level: Ages 13-17


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Runaways

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2013-02-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

Armistead’s debut might oversell its Thoreauvian connections, but the core story of an amnesiac boy and his quest for identity stands on its own. When “Henry David” wakes up in Penn Station, he has no clue who he is; since his only possession is a copy of Walden, he takes the author’s name as his own. After falling in with a pair of homeless teens who nickname him Hank and being threatened by a crime boss, the 17-year-old decides he’s safer outside the city and heads to Concord, Mass., to see if Thoreau’s life can offer him answers. There, he meets an attractive high schooler named Hailey and a heavily tattooed librarian named Thomas, both of whom help Hank as his memories slowly come back. Armistead can go over the top at times—her New York City is almost cartoonishly violent and one-dimensional—but Hank’s personal tragedies are touching, as are his interactions with everyone from street kids Jack and Nessa to the more sedate citizens of Concord. His quests for answers and redemption should easily engage readers. Ages 13–up. (Mar.)

 
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