Author: Emma Donoghue
Genre: Psychological Suspense, Bestseller
Publication Date: 2010
Number of Pages: 321
Geographical Setting: Not specified- probably North America
Time Period: Present
Series (If applicable):
Plot Summary: Five-year-old Jack has lived in Room his entire life. His Ma was abducted at age 19 and forced to live in a one-room shed for seven years. She has done the best she could raising a small child, making sure he has been fed and healthy and keeping their captor from coming near Jack. But, as Jack gets older she knows they must get out and away from “Old Nick”. Escape is dangerous and the outside world will be scary but Jack and Ma are ready for a new life and a second chance.
Subject Headings: Boys-Fiction, Mother and Child- Fiction, Kidnapping-Fiction, Psycopaths- Fiction, Escapes- Fiction
Appeal: compelling, engrossing, detailed characterization, intriguing, realistic characters, well- drawn characters, complex, issue oriented, thought-provoking, bittersweet, foreboding, candid, unusual style
3 terms that best describe this book: compelling, well-drawn characters, thought-provoking
Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors
Anatomy of a Kidnapping- Steven L Berk
In March 2005, Dr. Steven Berk was kidnapped in Amarillo, Texas, by a dangerous and enigmatic criminal who entered his home, armed with a shotgun, through an open garage door. Dr. Berk’s experiences and training as a physician, enabled him to keep his family safe, establish rapport with his kidnapper, and bring his captor to justice. This nonfiction book would interest readers who want to hear a true story of abduction from an adult point of view.
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
When Jaycee Dugard was eleven years old; she was abducted from a school bus stop in South Lake Tahoe, California. She was missing for more than eighteen years, held captive by Phillip Craig and Nancy Garrido, and gave birth to two daughters during her imprisonment. On August 26, 2009, Garrido showed up for a meeting with his parole officer; he brought Jaycee, her daughters, and his wife Nancy with him. Their unusual behavior raised suspicions and an investigation revealed the tent behind the Garridos’ home where Jaycee had been living for nearly two decades. A Stolen Life was written by Jaycee herself and covers the period from the time of her abduction in 1991, up until the present. This book is a very similar, true-life story of Jack’s Ma in Room.
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray
Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. At age fifteen, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep. When Liz’s mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a “New York Times” scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League. This is a compelling story about a woman breaking free from extreme adversity that readers of Room will thoroughly enjoy.
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
His Illegal Self by Peter Carey
Che is an eight-year-old boy being raised by his grandmother in New York in the 1960’s. His parents are radical student activists and Che has been yearning for them since he was very small, but his grandmother has kept him in relative isolation. One day someone comes to take him back to his real parents and Che enters a wild journey that leads him to Queensland, Australia. This book deals with the same themes of isolation and kidnapping that Room does.
The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell
A mother and a daughter live quietly in the rustic gatehouse of Shrove House, an isolated British estate. Their life seems perfectly ordinary except that daughter Liza has been kept isolated from the outside world for all of her sixteen years. And that she has seen her beautiful mother commit murder. Now, as the police come searching for a missing man, Liza’s sheltered, strange world begins to fall apart. Room and The Crocodile Bird are both haunting psychological suspense stories in which a child who grew up in isolation now faces the unexpected real world.
Trance by Christopher Sorrentino
When a newspaper heiress is kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, she ends up surprising everyone by taking a new name and staying with her captors. This story is loosely based on the Patty Hearst case and chronicles the next 16 months of Tania’s life in hiding with them. Like Room, this book deals with the psychological effects of living in isolation and captivity.
Name: Becky Ozinga
Tags: bittersweet, candid, compelling, complex, detailed characterization, engrossing, foreboding, intriguing, issue-oriented, realistic characters, thought provoking, unusual style, well-drawn characters