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Reviews for Nobel Genes

"Michaels explores dark themes with ruthless honesty. The narrative is spare, the characters are beautifully portrayed as multifaceted individuals, and the premise is grim and wholly plausible. YA novels about mental illness are not uncommon, but this one of a child who seems anonymous to the outside world, who is never named by the author, and whose fate isn't ultimately wrapped up in a tidy bow will leave readers unsettled. Hand this to teens who like Chris Crutcher and Ellen Hopkins or want more books like Dave Pelzer's A Child Called It "
- School Library Journal

". . . skillful, deeply disconcerting tale. . . Michaels makes effective use of first-person narration to give readers a highly believable protagonist and a riveting, from-the-trenches look at what it is like to live with a parent who suffers from a serious mental illness. "
- Publishers Weekly

"An effective psychological mystery about family and personal identity .... engaging, emotionally authentic voice of a young man struggling to establish an individual identity under extraordinary circumstances ... the novelŐs emotional depth under deceptively simple language [is] thought-provoking and worthy of intense conversation."
- Assembly on Literature for Adolescents

"Expectation meets hard-edged reality in this harrowing, heartbreaking but cautiously hopeful story. Beautifully and sensitively written, it examines the lives of an ill parent and her resourceful son, a boy who will be impossible for readers to forget"
- Michael Cart, Booklist columnist, reviewer, and former president of Yalsa.

"Nobel Genes by Rune Michaels is a clever, intriguing, captivating read. I read it in one sitting and will be thinking about it for a long time. The story, the characters, and the writing are equally awesome. I loved it."
- James Dashner, author of The Maze Runner

" . . . sensitive, authentic look at the overwhelming responsibility and heartbreaking love of a boy for his mentally unstable parent."
- Booklist

". . . taut and disturbing story. ."
- Kirkus

"...very compelling...."
- VOYA

"...sad and compelling story..."
- Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books
Nobel Genes
Does it matter where you come from?
It's tough to measure up to your parents' expectations. Imagine how much harder it would be if your mother told you that your biological father-whom you'd never met-was a Nobel prize-winning genius? What if, after years of testing and tutoring, you never showed that particular spark of brilliance? What if you found out that you'd been living a lie, and that the truth was darker than you could have imagined?

Does it matter who you come from? Or are we all just made of dust?
Foreign rights have sold to Taiwan.
Young adult novel, US edition, August 2010
Atheneum Books for Young Readers / Simon & Schuster