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  • Hit and Run
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: Trade Paperback | ISBN: 9780385743815
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  • Hit and Run
  • Written by Lurlene McDaniel
  • Format: eBook | ISBN: 9780375891700
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Hit and Run

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Written by Lurlene McDanielAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Lurlene McDaniel


List Price: $7.99


On Sale: March 10, 2009
Pages: 192 | ISBN: 978-0-375-89170-0
Published by : Laurel Leaf RH Childrens Books
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In this newly repackaged trade paper edition, Hit and Run explores moral and
ethical issues, bringing to light the alarming increase in hit and run car accidents
in this nation and the lives that are forever changed as a result.

It was an accident. But when the people involved don't come forward, doesn't it
become a crime? 

Hit and Run
is the story of four high school teens whose lives intersect due to a tragic car accident. For better or worse, the choices each one decides to make
cannot be reversed. Can they find the courage and strength to face the
consequences of their choices, in order to find peace in their new realities?


Friday, October 21, 11:58 PM

I am floating in total darkness. Not floating like in water, but on a stream of air. Floating, trapped within a dark cloud . . . my eyes wide open. But there's no light, not even a glimmer, and I can't see. I hear nothing. I feel nothing. No pain. No brush of air against my skin. Not the limbs of my body. Not the beating of my heart. Not the sound of my blood rushing through my ears.
My heartbeat. My sight. My touch. Where are they? Where am I?
Who am I?

Friday, October 21, 6:15 pm

"How many times are you going to change clothes tonight?"
I stop riffling through the contents of my pathetic closet and look over at Judie, my best friend. She's sitting on my bed eating potato chips, spilling salty crumbs all over my comforter.

"As many times as it takes to get it right," I tell her.

"I've seen at least four outfits that look good on you. Why not just eeny-meeny-miney-mo them and get over it? He's going to be here in forty-five minutes." She glances at my bedside clock. "And I still haven't done your hair."

I want to be patient with her, but how can I? She knows that Quentin Palmer--Quin to the entire city of Asheville, North Carolina--has asked me, Laurie Stark, out to a bash at some mountain estate. I think of what Dorothy said when meeting the Wizard of Oz. "I am Dorothy, the small and meek. . . ." Freshman girls like me don't get rushed by senior jocks like Quin. And yet, I was. He came right over to the cafeteria table where I was sitting with Judie two days ago and said, "You're Laurie, aren't you? Want to come to a party Friday night?"

My mouth dropped open. I've worshipped him from afar since school started and now, just before school carnival, he was asking me on a date. Judie nudged me under the table. "This Friday?" Did my voice squeak?

"I'll pick you up at seven," Quin said.

"D-do you need directions?"

"I know where you live."

He gave me a smile that made my blood sizzle, but when he walked away, Judie said, "That's scary."

"What?" I could hardly speak and I was shaking. This happens when a god speaks to you.

"That he knows where you live," she said.

We picked up our trays and headed to the deposit window. I thought every eye in the cafeteria was looking at me because they'd seen Quin come up to my table and talk to me. I thought maybe Judie was jealous. "So then why did he ask me?"

"Because he's working his way through all the new freshman girls at school. It's October and he's up to the S's."

I felt a flare of temper. "That's mean."

"Cool off. I'm kidding. He asked because you're pretty." Judie flashed me a smile.

We've been friends since fifth grade. She's big-boned and round with boobs that need a double-D-cup bra. I'm the tall lanky type with blond hair and size C-cup boobs--okay, a high B. Judie doesn't date anybody. I've dated a few guys, but dumped them when they asked for benefits.
People wonder why we're friends, because we're different. I don't know, but ever since passing from Asheville Middle School to Asheville High, student population just shy of six hundred, we've navigated the wannabe waters of popularity. "With you steering the boat," Judie would say.
Now, with a date to a party with Quin, I see rocks ahead of our boat. But two days ago, I was walking on air. Quin asked me. Me!

When I tell Mom about my date with Quin, she practically does a cartwheel. She knows who Quin is. Everyone who reads the local paper and isn't mentally impaired knows. He's the star of our baseball team, the All-County and All-State team pitcher, member of Parade magazine's A-team, the number-one draft choice of coaches from Duke and North Carolina State and any number of colleges and universities across the country. Quin's hot in every way.

"Tell me how he asked you." Mom wants details, so I give them. Mostly to see her face light up. People say we look alike and I guess we do, but the similarity is only skin deep.

When she went to Asheville High, she was homecoming queen, Miss Student Body, prom queen . . . the list goes on. (My list is painfully short: cross-country team.) Everybody loved Lindsey Duvales, including my dad, Denny Stark. They got married and had me, but the marriage didn't work out, so Dad left Asheville for Columbus, Ohio. Mom sells real estate and makes enough money to keep us both in trendy clothes and decent shoes.

Sometimes I'm sorry she can't go to high school in my place. She likes it all so much more than I do, and now that I've got a date with Quin, I feel more like Lindsey Duvales than Laurie Stark, which is an interesting feeling.

So now, when I'm standing in front of my closet, all my self-assurance goes out the window. Judie scoots off the bed and picks up three outfits scattered on the floor. Two still have the tags on them from when Mom brought them home. She likes shopping for me.

"What's wrong with this?" Judie holds up a green sweater and a plaid miniskirt. "It'll show off your long legs. You should go for it."

"Too Catholic-school girl."

"Then go with jeans and this sweater."

"I hate that sweater."

"How about these jeans?" Judie holds out a pair Mom just bought, with ragged knees and a hole in one thigh. She looks at the price tag and grimaces. "Why would you spend this much money on something from the thrift store?"

"They're brand-new," I tell her. I snatch the jeans and slide them over my legs, zip them up. They fit like a second skin.

"This sweater," Judie says, giving me a pink one that has a low V-neck and barely skims my waistband.

I try it on, stare at myself in the mirror. "You think so?"

"I think so."

Quin agrees. I see it on his face when I come down the stairs, and it makes my insides glow. Mom has him cornered in the living room and is bubbling with enthusiastic questions. I'm embarrassed, but he doesn't seem to mind. All I can think about is getting out of there.

"You kids have fun," Mom calls from the front door as we start down the walk to his car.
I'm thankful she hasn't whipped out her camera.

"You two look alike," he says, opening the door for me.

"I've been told that before." I get in, stare out the window at my mother's figure backlit in the front doorway, where she's standing and waving. I want to sink into the upholstery.

Quin starts the engine. "Buckle up. I drive fast."

I do as I'm told, grateful for his blaring CD player. Now that the commotion is over, now that I'm riding into the dark hills beside Quin Palmer, it occurs to me that I don't know this guy and I have nothing to say to him.

I miss Lindsey Duvales. She'd know how to talk to him. Laurie Stark doesn't.
Lurlene McDaniel

About Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel - Hit and Run

Photo © Meghan Green and Jon Lancaster

“I write the kind of books I write because I want to help kids understand that nobody gets to pick what life dishes out to them. What you do get to choose is how you respond to what life gives you. No matter what happens, life is a gift. And always worth living.”—Lurlene McDaniel

Lurlene McDaniel is a recipient of the RITA Award and several of her works have received the IRA–CBC Children’s Choice Award.


Everyone loves a good cry, and no one delivers heartwrenching stories better than Lurlene McDaniel.

But there’s more to her books than that. McDaniel has written over 40 novels about kids who face life-threatening illnesses, who sometimes do not survive. These are powerful, inspirational stories about courage, love, and strength in the face of overwhelming trauma. McDaniel’s books touch the hearts and spirits of the teenagers and adults who read them. Her following is a devoted group of appreciative fans. McDaniel says: “These are books that challenge you and make you think.”

Some readers—and their parents—have wondered why McDaniel chooses to write about sad situations. “I tell them that sometimes tragedy hits people—kids, too. They want answers. They want to know ‘why.’ By using novels, I show ordinary kids confronting and overcoming great odds.” McDaniel’s books are ultimately optimistic and life-affirming. 

McDaniel began writing about young adults when her son Sean was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 3. His illness changed the lives of everyone in her family forever. “I saw what life was like for someone who was chronically ill, and I experienced how it affected the dynamics of the family,” says McDaniel. She says she found that writing about the trauma and its effects was therapeutic.

To make certain that her books are medically accurate, McDaniel conducts extensive research. She interviews health care professionals and works with appropriate medical groups and hospice organizations, as well as the Tennessee Organ Donor Services. “I study medicine and traditional grief therapy techniques to give the novels a sense of serious medical reality,” she says. “I also study the Bible to instill the human element—the values and ethics often overlooked by the coldness of technology.”

Growing up, McDaniel lived in different parts of the country because her father was in the Navy. Eventually her family settled in Florida. She attended the University of South Florida in Tampa, where she earned a B.A. in English. She now lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

In addition to her popular YA novels, McDaniel has written radio and television scripts, promotional and advertising copy, and a magazine column. She is a frequent speaker at schools, writers’ conferences, and conventions.

McDaniel’s books have been named to several bestseller lists, including Publishers Weekly. Three of her novels were
selected by children as IRA–CBC Children’s Choices: Somewhere Between Life and Death, Too Young to Die, and Goodbye Doesn’t Mean Forever. Six Months to Live has been placed in a literary time capsule at the Library of Congress, to be opened in the year 2089.

The One Last Wish books focus on the interconnected stories of the residents and counselors of Jenny House—a group home for critically and terminally ill young girls. Through the kindness of a secret benefactor, each girl receives a cashier’s check for $100,000, to be used to make her last wish come true. Every One Last Wish novel is a compassionate story of triumph and inspiration that makes McDaniel’s dedicated fans come back for more.

McDaniel’s works include To Live Again, one of the Dawn Rochelle books; Angel of Mercy, the companion to Angel of Hope; and How Do I Love Thee, three stories about young couples who are inspired by Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s beautiful sonnet. In her novel, Telling Christina Goodbye, McDaniel shows that everything can change in the blink of an eye.


“An interesting blend of romance, mystery, and problem novel. The characters are captivating and sensitively drawn and the plot is fast paced.”—School Library Journal

“Touching scenes abound in this crisis novel. . . . Fans of tear-jerker teen romances will enjoy this offering.”—Booklist

“A satisfying story for those who like to take their romance with tears and gutsy characters who know what it means to live beyond the pale of ‘normal.’ ”—School Library Journal

“Readers of McDaniel will enjoy; it’s good to read positive stories about teens.”—VOYA

“McDaniel has a way of getting you to look at the complicated emotions experienced by YAs with major medical problems. . . . Another winner in her One Last Wish series.”—KLIATT

“[The stories] are absorbing, the characters are well developed, and the author does not resolve the girls’ dilemmas with pat solutions. . . . This has solid YA appeal.”—School Library Journal

“These companion novels . . . cast the events of high school into a meaningful perspective and allow for convincing character development. McDaniel’s writing is light and well suited to this refreshing and involving story.”—Publishers Weekly

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