Irises by Francisco X. Stork

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Two sisters discover what's truly worth living for in the new novel by the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD.

TWO SISTERS: Kate is bound for Stanford and an M.D. -- if her family will let her go. Mary wants only to stay home and paint. When their loving but repressive father dies, they must figure out how to support themselves and their mother, who is in a permanent vegetative state, and how to get along in all their uneasy sisterhood.

THREE YOUNG MEN: Then three men sway their lives: Kate's boyfriend Simon offers to marry her, providing much-needed stability. Mary is drawn to Marcos, though she fears his violent past. And Andy tempts Kate with more than romance, recognizing her ambition because it matches his own.

ONE AGONIZING CHOICE: Kate and Mary each find new possibilities and darknesses in their sudden freedom. But it's Mama's life that might divide them for good -- the question of *if* she lives, and what's worth living for.

IRISES is Francisco X. Stork's most provocative and courageous novel yet.

About Francisco X. Stork

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Francisco X. Stork is the author of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD, winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens and the Once Upon a World Award, and THE LAST SUMMER OF THE DEATH WARRIORS, which was named to the YALSA Best Fiction for Teens list. He lives near Boston with his wife.
Published January 1, 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books. 309 pages
Genres: Romance, Young Adult, Children's Books. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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His flawed supporting cast—an overzealous father, an imposing aunt, an ambitious young pastor who offers comfort to Kate and a seemingly rough boy who befriends Mary—allows the girls to sort through the complexities of human nature and come together to reach a decision regarding their mother.

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Irises

Publishers Weekly

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When their father, the local preacher, dies, sisters Kate and Mary—whose mother is trapped in a permanent vegetative state and who are just becoming adults—must make some serious decisions about their futures. But increasing demands, complications, and their mother’s health make those deci...

Apr 30 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises


Kate and Mary are sisters, and they are in a bad spot: Their father has died, their mother is in a vegetative state, and they have no one to turn to but each other.

Jan 10 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

The Boston Globe

Every high school has ghosts who serve as cautionary tales, the students who die too young after doing something dangerous, like drinking and driving or diving into quarries.

Jan 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

Teen Reads

Much of the book's theme rests on the girls' response to a single Sunday morning sermon ("We need to be awakened, sometimes through pain, to recognize the true nature of love.") Stork's recognition of Christian faith as a powerful influence in many young people's lives --- without reducing belief...

Jan 25 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

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Jan 22 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises


The gist: After their father dies unexpectedly, sisters Kate and Mary are left alone with their mother, who has been in a vegetative state for years after a car accident.

Jan 20 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

Reader Girlz

Stork (Scholastic): "Eighteen-year-old Kate Romero and her 16-year-old sister, Mary, have helped their father take care of their mother for years, after a car accident left her in a permanent vegetative state.

Feb 17 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

MO High Library

The deacons of the church where their father was the minister give them a deadline to leave the parsonage and their father’s life insurance claim is denied.

Oct 26 2012 | Read Full Review of Irises

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