Long Story Short
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Long Story Short

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  133 ratings  ·  27 reviews
From Ireland's first laureate for children's literature comes a story of abuse and neglect told with sincerity, heart, and a healthy dose of humor.
Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. Told in Jono's funny, self-conscious voice,the layers of his past and the ev
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published June 21st 2011 by Roaring Brook Press (first published May 1st 2011)
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Miss Inga Page
Originally posted at Miss Inga Page.

I am going to be the first person to admit that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this book much. As you may well know by now, I am not a fan of “heavy” reads, and therefore, when I was advised to read this book (and the companion novel, Heart Shaped), I figured that it wouldn’t really be my cup of tea. Alcoholism, domestic abuse, and a flight from the police, to me, don’t add up to a book that I’m probably going to enjoy. However, I bought the book, and settled dow...more
Kellee
Reviewed at:
http://www.teachmentortexts.com/2011/...

Summary: Jonathan (Jono) and Julie's mother might as well be nonexistent. She sleeps through the day, goes out to drink at night and then comes home to pass out. Jono is in charge of Julie since he is 8 years her senior. It isn't too bad, except when their mom forgets to get their government check for food or if she spends it all on booze. But then their mother goes one step too far- she hits Julie. Jono cannot take the thought of being separa...more
Suzanne
It's not a bad story, and true, it is nice and short--often a big selling point with teen readers; but it's just way too Irish, too foreign, for the average American reluctant reader.

People that can get past all the chip shops, dole checks, garda, steak and kidney pies, and bejaysus may enjoy the devotion Jonathan feels for his 8-year-old sister Julie and be suitably horrified when their drunk of a mother strikes Julie when she complains about only apples for dinner and marks her so completely t...more
Jane
The strength of 14-year-old Jono's voice is what sells this story. From the beginning, his awareness of the uses and malleability of narrative forms hints that he might be an unreliable narrator. We never lose sight of the fact that we are grounded in Jono's interpretation of events, a position that creates an intense empathy for him. The story does falter slightly in Part II, when his omission of several events becomes clear. The presence of a gap in the timeline could have been made explicit t...more
Kiona Zomers
Long story short is about a boy (Jonathan) whose mom who gets drunk all the time, and one day the mom hits the little sister (Julie). Now they want to run away. I really didn't like this book. I normally like books like this, but it was really confusing. The book jumps back and forth, like one chapter it will be in the present then the next chapter will be one of Jonathan's memories. I really don't like books that do that. I actually only like books that are always in the present, but if you don...more
爱心❤
Well, I had to give it a 2, instead of a 1, because although I want to dislike it, it was ok.
Jono has always been able to cope with his mother's drinking, but when she hits his little sister Julie, he decides it's time for them to run away. (Haha, direct from GR).
And along the way he gets accused of murder and what-not. Sad when people don't believe in the truth :(

I liked Jono's character a lot, and also the style of writing (very personal with the character) but something about the story made m...more
Anne
Jono struggles to take care of his little sister, Julie, and his alcoholic mom. Although he's still a kid himself, he does a pretty good job of keeping things going at home and covering up for the lack of an adult in his life. But when his mom finally goes too far and hits Julie Jono knows he's got to do something. Initially he dismisses Julie's idea to run away but finally decides that it's their only option.
Things quickly go downhill and Jono finds himself in police custody. What's the deal?...more
Angelina Justice
This is a great read for any audience, but is presented, successfully, from a male perspective. The plot is not new, and is based on a far too frequent reality. This is a good piece of realistic fiction that looks at the chain of events that culminates in two children running away from the neglect and abuse that has reached a crisis point.

The older child, a fourteen year old boy, is telling us the story in bursts and fits. The narration becomes a little too fragmented sometimes, but not so much...more
Elsa
Very good story of a 14 year old boy who has to be the adult in his dysfunctional family. His mom is a falling down drunk, dad's gone and his gramma has recently died so he is the only one who cares for his little sister. His mom hits the girl one day in a drunken rage so he takes her and they run away from home. It is nice to read a story like this though, where, while the system has failed these kids, they do end up with caring people who can help them.
Sheryl
I am so confused after reading this. 14 year old Jonathan is on the run with his eight year old sister after their mom hits Julie. Next thing you know he is accused of murdering his mother and has robbed a store. This seemed to come out of nowhere and was not resolved by the end of the book. The plot was very disjointed and I am disappointed as I truly thought I would enjoy this book based on the description.
Ariel
Enjoyed parts of the book, but there seems to be no closure. There wasn't enough justice done to Jono, I wasn't really satisfied with the ending.

Of course parts of the book I liked. The part where Jono had told the adults that they were worse than his mother who had hit Julie. Which I found true.

The book seemed too short and did not have much happenings along the way, much was not elaborated on either.
Jess
A bleak story and an unreliable narrator. It's hard going into a story knowing the narrator is unreliable, because you're constantly on the lookout for signs of deception. I picked this up after reading reviews, partly because the characters go to Galway and partly to see if it felt more tween or teen (answer: teen). I'd recommend this to teens who like books that feel a bit unsettled and gritty.
Emily Bailey
This book isn't exactly the sweet little runaway story you might expect. Jono takes off with his little sister after their alcoholic mother hits his sister. Jono wants the best for his sister and this story tells the tale of how he decides what will be best and shows what he does. I wish it were a longer story and I could have learned more about how it ends, but I enjoyed it just the same.
Conor
I thought that this book was at the beginning a very easy read, that was predictable and not extremely interesting or original. The minute I started part two, I knew instantly that I was going to love this book, the twist is so powerful that it could not have been saw coming and it turned a book that I would have rated a low four, to a 91/2 out of ten!
Ricki
Jonathan's dad has moved away, and his mother is an alcoholic. After one too many abusive nights, he sets off on a "trip" with his younger sister, Julie. Author Siobhan Parkinson was named the first laureate for children's literature in Ireland, and this short book is sure to engage readers who enjoy realistic tales and don't mind a little Irish slang!
JoAnn
I liked this book a lot. It was weird, and truly a long story short. It had an air of mystery to it, and I actually really liked how it ended even though it was kind of weird. The whole book was really weird and I liked it. It kind of left me feeling confused, but in a good way. I don't even know how to describe it because it was just weird.
Tenille Shade
This was a tough story to read. The child abuse and violence was difficult to swallow, and the connection of the siblings broke my heart. I fell in love with Juno, and the mother's death came as a shock to me. I liked how the main character referenced what he had learned about writing from his English teacher. Quick read, and worth my time.
VJ
The grandmother dies, Mom's a basket case, Dad is not in the picture when a 14- and 8-year old lam outta there only to end up in foster care.

This story rambles to me. It is confused, as is the protagonist.

I wonder how many young adults liked this one . . ..
Becky
Intrigued by the (British? Irish?) expression for things taking a turn for the worse "going all pear-shaped." Wikipedia has some interesting theories as to the origin of this phrase: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pear-shaped
Anna
Good recommendation for younger teen guys & reluctant readers who prefer realistic stories of survival and grit. A fast, fairy easy read that's got great dialogue, with an Irish twist.
Lowri
really good, but in my opinion the ending was not the best. but awesome story line and i loved the characters and drama. very good.
Lara Johnson
I can't remember when I started/finished this one, but I thought it was a great story. I passed it along to my son to read.
Desiree
I loved Jono! This was a really quick read and reminded me a lot of locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson.
Αναστασία
Well written. This story touched a cord in my heart and it won't be forgotten anytime soon <3
LibraryLass
Very powerful little novel. One that I wish had been around when I was a teen.
Madi
I enjoyed this book, and despite the deep subject material it was a good light read.
Neeve
Sad, and very insightful.
Mia King
Mia King is currently reading it
Aug 12, 2014
Dragonr
Dragonr marked it as to-read
Jul 16, 2014
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Siobhán Parkinson is an Irish writer for both children and adults. Siobhán grew up in Galway and Donegal. Her books have won numerous awards and have been translated into several languages. She is currently a co-editor of Bookbird, the magazine of international children's literature organsation IBBY. She resides in The Republic of Ireland with her husband Roger Bennett and son Matthew.
More about Siobhán Parkinson...
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