Ask a bookseller

Ask a Bookseller: 'Saints of the Household'

Ask a Bookseller Podcast
Ask a Bookseller

We wrap up our month-long focus on books for kids and teens with a Young Adult (YA) novel set in Minnesota, recommended by a Minnesota bookstore. Mary Taris of Strive Publishing and Bookstore in Minneapolis loved the intimate look at family dynamics in Ari Tison's novel “Saints of the Household.”

Saints of the Household
Saints of the Household by Ari Tison
Macmillan Publishers

Written in poetry and vignettes, the narrative moves back and forth between the points of view of two brothers. Max and Jay are close: eleven months apart, they are both seniors in high school.

There's abuse at home that's gone on for years, ever since their father lost his job. The brothers don't speak of this, even among themselves, but its toll on their lives become clear when they get into a fight at school.

They are defending their cousin, but they end up seriously injuring another student.

As they face the consequences of their actions and search for a way forward, their grandfather and their indigenous Costa Rican roots play an important role in this coming-of-age novel.