Young Adult

By Kathi Baron

Publisher : WestSide Books

ABOUT Kathi Baron

Kathi Baron
Kathi Baron is an occupational therapist and a graduate of the Vermont College MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults Program.  She has worked with teens in crisis and has publications in a variety of occupational therapy journals and books.She lives with her husband, son, and cat i More...



Violin prodigy Cassie has been tiptoeing around her father, whose moods have become increasingly explosive. After performing her first solo with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Cassie’s joy turns to shock when her father destroys her beloved and valuable violin in a sudden rage. Cassie runs away, eventually seeking refuge in a homeless shelter.

She later learns that her father, a former violinist, was physically beaten as a child by her grandfather, a painful secret he’s kept hidden from the family, and the cause of his violent outbursts. With all of their lives shattered in some way, Cassie’s family must struggle to repair their broken relationships.

As Cassie moves forward, she ultimately finds a way to help others, having developed compassion through her own painful experiences. Written in lyrical prose, Shattered tells the story of how one girl finds inner strength through music.

"Grade 7–10—Cassie's big moment as the youth orchestra's violin soloist is at hand and she is excited, but also uneasy about her father's increasingly erratic behavior. She never imagines his rage will escalate to the point where he destroys the vintage violin his father gave her in acknowledgment of her musical talent. Cassie runs away, with no clear idea of where she's headed or what she'll do to survive. Taking shelter at Chicago's Union Station, she finds herself telling the whole sordid story to a sympathetic young man, Nick, as he waits for his delayed train. Feeling inexplicably determined, Cassie heads for her grandfather's house several towns away, with only a bus ticket left to her name. The distance is farther than she realizes, and she winds up spending the night in a homeless shelter for teens, where suddenly her family's problems are put in perspective. Cassie and her family face difficult times as they try to find a positive way through this drama. Baron successfully uses musical metaphors in the structure of the novel—short chapters with staccato action and slower cadences reflective of the family's struggle to work their way through this situation. Cassie at times seems far more mature and reasoned than most 14-year-olds. This is a moving story that meanders a bit too long before reaching its hopeful if not terribly realistic denouement." —School Library Journal
"The family drama will grab readers, but just as enthralling is the story of a young person devoted to her music, note by note." --Booklist

"...this poignant story of multigenerational abuse is a compelling read." --Kirkus Reviews

"This is a novel about picking up pieces, told in a voice that is both poetic and compelling. Kathi Baron's Shattered has perfect pitch." --Kathi Appelt, author of The Underneath, a Newbery Honor Book and National Book Award Finalist
"It takes a special kind of author to create an emotional journey that opens our hearts. Kathi Baron is that kind of storyteller and Shattered is that kind of book." --Louise Hawes, author of The Vanishing Point and Waiting for Christopher, both New York Public Library Best Books for the Teen Age, and Rosey in the Present Tense, a YALSA Popular Paperback
"Shattered is about the shattering of a dream, and the wholeness only truth and forgiveness can bring. Much like a beloved piece of music, this novel's notes will stay with the reader long after the final page." --Sharon Darrow, author of Trash, a Junior Library Guild selection, and The Painters of Lexieville, a KLIATT Editor's Choice book
"Objects may be shattered beyond repair, but families don't have to be. Kathi Baron's very readable debut novel deftly explores the mending process." --Ron Koertge, author of Strays, and Stoner and Spaz, PEN Award winners for Children's Writing
"Shattered is a sonata in words, a deeply lyrical journey, ringing with overtones." --Tim Wynne-Jones, Horn Book and Edgar Award winning author of The Boy in the Burning House and The Uninvited