Sec­onds Away: A Mick­ey Boli­tar Novel

Har­lan Coben
  • Review
By – February 26, 2013

This fast paced cliffhang­er is the sec­ond in a series of young adult nov­els based on Mick­ey Boli­tar who was intro­duced in Coben’s adult nov­els as the nephew of Myron Boli­tar. Mick­ey is a high school sopho­more in New Jer­sey who has been recruit­ed to join the Abeona Shel­ter which helps chil­dren in trou­ble. Togeth­er with his friends, Spoon, Emma, and Rachel, he tries to uncov­er the mys­tery of who shot Rachel, find out what the Bat Lady down the block is hid­ing, and nav­i­gate the ups and downs of high school. The friends keep secrets from each oth­er but often show one anoth­er an open hon­esty and a strong desire to work togeth­er for the greater good. The Bat Lady’s ini­tial dis­cus­sion with Mick­ey, in which she insin­u­ates that his father, who had died in a car crash, is still alive, frames the nar­ra­tive. She presents Mick­ey with a pic­ture of the infa­mous Butch­er of Lodz, who Mick­ey iden­ti­fies as the para­medic who took his father away from the scene of the acci­dent. Break­ing into the Bat Lady’s house in her absence, Mick­ey finds pic­tures of res­cued chil­dren from the time of the Holo­caust on and dis­cov­ers that the Bat Lady was actu­al­ly a teenage hero who saved a train full of chil­dren at the time of the Holo­caust. The Jew­ish con­tent and Holo­caust con­nec­tions are sub­tle, but would make Jew­ish teenagers of today proud of the protagonist’s courage, and his quest for the truth. Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 12 and up.

Dro­ra Arussy, Ed.D., is an edu­ca­tion­al con­sul­tant who spe­cial­izes in inte­grat­ing Jew­ish and sec­u­lar stud­ies, the arts into edu­ca­tion, and cre­ative teach­ing for excel­lence in Jew­ish edu­ca­tion. She is the moth­er to four school-age chil­dren and has taught from pre-school through adult. Dro­ra is an adjunct pro­fes­sor of Hebrew lan­guage at Drew University.

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