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Publisher's Summary

It all starts when Matthew observes a heroic scene in a convenience store: a man named Murdoch puts himself between an abusive father and his son. Matt is determined to get to know this man. And when, amazingly, Murdoch begins dating Matt's mother, it seems as if life may become peaceful for the first time.

Matt and his sisters have never before known a moment of peace in a household ruled by their unpredictable, vicious mother. And so, after Murdoch inevitably breaks up with her and the short period of family calm is over, Matt sees that he needs to take action. He refuses to let his family remain at risk. Can he call upon his hero, Murdoch? And if not, what might his desperation lead him to do?

A thought-provoking exploration of self-reliance and the nature of evil, and a heart-wrenching portrait of a family in crisis, this is Nancy Werlin's most compulsively readable novel yet.

©2006 Nancy Werlin (P)2007 Random House Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

Critic Reviews

“Guaranteed to leave readers breathlessly turning the pages.” (Booklist, starred review, starred review)

 “Werlin tackles [this topic] with grace and insight.” (School Library Journal)

“A heartbreaking tale of abuse and love.... Beautifully framed.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What listeners say about The Rules of Survival

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An accurate tale from inside an abusive upbringing

Daniel's voice as narrator is great for this, and he conveyed the emotions of a completely terrible situation very clearly to the listener. Werlin's story is believable and heart-wrenching. It especially hit home for me how Matt never self-identified as "neglected" or "abused" growing up, but instead would've classified himself as "loved" if ever questioned by police or social workers. That part is so important for anyone on the outside to understand. That, and knowing that, when that kid finally does reach out for help, please please please take him seriously... Don't minimise his feelings or dismiss his concerns. This was well worth the read.

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Amazing story, Amazing narration <3

Love this story, I read it in 3rd grade and remembered the old cover art vividly years later after the memory of the story faded, after racking my brain endlessly trying to remember the title and after countless hours of searching the internet with keywords about the baby blue cover with the cereal bowl full of glass shards, I finally found it YEARS later on accident, just happening to pull it out of a shelf at the public library! I was overjoyed and decided to listen to it as an audiobook while at work since I don't have much time for physical reading for pleasure now days! Great narration! Great story! Big props to everyone involved! I'd recommend this book to anybody who loves a good meaningful fiction story.

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Just Absolutely...Amazing

Words cannot explain how great this book is. It makes you feel things you didn't know you could just from an audiobook. The narrator did an amazing job, and I actually had to check if this was his memoir. If you have doubts about getting The Rules of Survival, trust me when I say you won't regret it.