Hard-hitting and graphic true-life account of one family's escape from the mob Powerful, unapologetic storytelling: alternating voices of daughter and father draw reader into gripping story of a family's life interrupted Heartbreaking, unputdownable and, ultimately, a story of survival and triumph
Cylin Busby is the author of several non-fiction articles as well as fiction books. A former editor with Teen magazine, she now lives in Los Angeles with her family. John Busby lives in an undisclosed location.
Gr 9 Up-On August 31, 1979, tough cop John Busby was shot at close range while driving to work on Cape Cod. Bleeding profusely with the lower half of his face blown off, he realized that somebody wanted him dead, and identified a brazen local bully as the culprit, an arsonist with whose family Busby had clashed on the job. John and his daughter, Cylin, who was nine at the time of the shooting, recount the year that followed in alternating chapters, incorporating candid commentary and sometimes-disturbing detail about a crime that never resulted in arrests. With the entire Busby family under 24-hour police protection, John began the reconstructive surgeries that would stretch for years, while Cylin and her two brothers tried to cope with guards accompanying them to school and the resulting social isolation. John Busby is frank about the corruption in the local police department that let his attacker intimidate anyone he chose, and bluntly describes his frustration and need for revenge in the months following the attack. Cylin speaks with a voice of innocence shattered as she struggles to comprehend what happened to her family and why her friends have abandoned her. When the town balked at the continuing expense of providing personal protection and the constant fear brought the family to the breaking point, the Busbys went into hiding, seeking a return to some semblance of normalcy. The page-turner pace is frequently interrupted by awkwardly placed flashbacks to moments in John's police work, but, ultimately, this is a story of survival and triumph.-Joyce Adams Burner, Hillcrest Library, Prairie Village, KS Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad. In 1979, in an underworld-style hit, a gunman shot John Busby, a policeman in Cape Cod; a fluke saved John's life, but he was permanently disfigured and disabled, and the family placed under 24-hour protection. Eventually the family went into hiding in Tennessee, but arguably their "disappearance" takes place long before they move--as John and his daughter, Cylin, alternately narrate, readers can see how the shooting erased the family's sense of themselves. John is consumed with anger at the police's refusal to pursue the likeliest suspects ("and [I] planned to stay angry until I got back at the bastards who did this to me"); Cylin, then nine, is baffled as she and her two older brothers attract unwelcome attention ("Everyone thinks your dad is going to die," a cousin tells her. "But you're lucky--you don't have to go to school") and are later forsaken as classmates' parents deem friendship with them too risky. Where John's chapters provide the grim facts, it is Cylin's authentically childlike perspective that, in revealing the cost to her innocence, renders the tragic experience most searingly. Ages 14-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
"No one with even a marginal interest in true crime writing should miss this page-turner, by turns shocking and almost unbearably sad." -"Publisher's Weekly" (starred review)
"A fascinating tale, making the costs of violence unequivocally clear. ...John's hard-won conclusion about vengeance--violence needn't be perpetuated because it would only damage his family more--holds a striking lesson for everyone, not just teens." -"Chicago"" Sun Times""""This riveting story will stay with readers, particularly its message that John's anger and desire for revenge were the hardest wounds to heal." - "Booklist""The book flows seamlessly back and forth from father's to daughter's perspective, each jump between narrators providing further explanation and insight and pulling readers deeper into the story." -- "VOYA" (Teen Reviewer)"This true-crime story manages to be suspenseful and reflective at the same time, and it will draw both leisure and reluctant readers." - "VOYA""A page-turner... Ultimately, a story of survival and triumph." -"SLJ"
"Cylin's detailed account of her childhood is real and, though certainly full of danger and fear, is also a testament to the strength of the power of kids' resiliency. Although the shooter and his family remained on the run and after John Busby, the Busby's drive to keep their family safe resonates with awe throughout the book. A fascinating true story for young readers 10 and up, "The Year We Disappeared" makes for a spellbinding reading." -Copley News Service"Where John's chapters provide the grim facts, it is Cylin's authentically childlike perspective that, in revealing the cost to her innocence, renders the tragic experience most searingly." --"Publishers Weekly," starred review"This true-crime story manages to be suspenseful and reflective at the same time, and it will draw both leisure and reluctant readers." --VOYA"[A] gripping story." VOYA, teen reviewer"A page-turner." -SLJ