Breakout by Paul Fleischman

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Synopsis

?Los Angeles! City of tanned shoulders! Smog-spewing, pay-per-viewing, sit-com maker for the world!?

Del?s put in 17 years there, bouncing among foster homes. Smart, sharp-tongued, a master mimic, she?s fed up with her world and with being Del. So she?s faked her own death and is leaving both herself and L.A. behind?until her escape lands her in an all-day traffic jam.
Fast-forward eight years. It?s opening night for the one-woman play she?s written and is starring in?a show called Breakout, about a Los Angeles traffic jam. Wildly funny, she seems to be skewering workaholics, road ragers, pickup artists, and car culture in general. But readers will see what her audience can?t?that the show is a portrait of herself, of her hunger for her mother and her terror of rejection, her free-floating identity and yearning for connection.
Flashing between Del?s present and future, Breakout gives us a backstage pass into a young playwright?s psyche, letting us watch her life being transformed into a art, heartache into comedy, solitude into community, and anger gradually giving way to acceptance.


 

About Paul Fleischman

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Paul Fleischman was born in Monterey, California on September 5, 1952. His father is fellow children's author, Sid Fleischman. He attended the University of California at Berkeley for two years, from 1970 to 1972. He dropped out to go on a cross-country train/bicycle trip and along the way took care of a 200-year-old house in New Hampshire. He eventually earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in 1977. Fleischman has written over 25 books for children and young adults including award winners such as Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Newberry Medal in 1989; Graven Images, Newberry Honor; Bull Run, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; Breakout, Finalist for the National Book Award in 2003; Saturnalia, Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Honor. He has also garnered numerous awards and recognitions from the American Library Association, School Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, and NCTE. He founded the grammar watchdog groups ColonWatch and The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to English.
 
Published July 15, 2003 by Cricket Books/Marcato. 160 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Children's Books, Parenting & Relationships, Literature & Fiction, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Breakout

Kirkus Reviews

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Life begets art begets life: “It’s fiction.

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Publishers Weekly

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The narrative then fast-forwards eight years: Del has assumed the identity of Elena Franco, and is being interviewed in Denver as the star of a one-woman show centered on characters trapped in a traffic jam (she describes the piece as "autobiography seen through weird, wavy glass").

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Publishers Weekly

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"The author explores the way art allows people to re-examine their lives, in this chronicle of a young woman who experiences an emotional breakthrough while stranded among strangers on the San Diego Freeway, and its contribution to her work onstage," PW said.

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