Valerie Sherrard is the author of 12 previous novels for young people, including the Shelby Belgarden Mysteries, Watcher, Sarah's Legacy, Speechless, and her first historical novel, Three Million Acres of Flame. Her work has been shortlisted for numerous Canadian awards, including the Red Maple, White Pine, and Arthur Ellis Awards. She lives in Miramichi, New Brunswick.
"I knew one thing â€“ I wasnâ€™t going to be rotting in that place for the rest of my life. I was getting out of there. That place turned people into the living dead. In that neighbourhood, it was hard to hear anything that didnâ€™t carry the sound of defeat."
Sixteen-year-old Porter Delaney has his future figured out, but his nice, neat plans are shaken when a man he believes may be his father suddenly appears in his Toronto neighbourhood. Porter knows that he wants nothing to do with the deadbeat dad who abandoned him and his sister twelve years earlier, but curiosity causes him to re-examine the past.
Unfortunately, actual memories are scarce and confusing, and much of what he knows is based on things his mother told him. As Porter looks for answers, it begins to seem that all heâ€™s ever going to find are more questions.
"Sherrard has a genuine ear for teen talk, and there's a gritty realism about the language."
"Sherrard keeps the action moving while parceling out just enough back story to maintain suspense and flesh out the small but lively cast of characters. The central mystery is compelling, but Sherrard is at her best when chronicling the goofy, slightly anxious off-hours of essentially decent teens with nothing to do."