Novel: Breathe My Name


Bibliographical Information:

Title- Breathe My Name

Author- R.A. Nelson

ISBN- 1595140948

Publisher- Razorbill

Copyright- 2007

Genre(s): Young Adult

Interest Age: 15 and up

Reader’s Annotation: Frances Robinson was the only surviving child of a woman who murdered the 3 oldest daughters. Now Frances, who was adopted after surviving, is getting letters from her mother after she has been released from prison.

Plot Summary:

Frances Robinson has the perfect life, she has a great family and she just met this cute new boy. But Frances can never forget her past. The truth is, Frances was adopted by the Robinsons but before that she had a biological mother and 3 sisters. When living with her mother, Frances believed to live in the made-up country of Fireless. One day, Frances’ mother, Afton, suffocated her children but Frances managed to escape. Now after years of being in prison, Afton is out and contacting Frances. Frances must take a journey to find out the truth behind her sister’s murder, and take along the new boy she has just met Nix.

Critical Evaluation:

I love R.A. Nelson, one of the nicest people to speak with. I picked up this book and knew it was going to be a good one. The story is like none I have ever read before. I love Frances and her parents, the Robinsons. I found myself not wanting to put this book down. I really like the relationship between Frances and Nix. This book is one of my favorites and it will stay on that list for a very long time

Author Bio/Information:

“R.A. Nelson’s work was selected as a finalist for National Public Radio’s list of the “Best Young Adult Fiction Ever Written.” He was chosen a Horn Book Newcomer and his books have been nominated to the YALSA Best Books for Young Adults list and recognized by the Parents’ Choice Awards, the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age list, Booksense Kid Picks, the Miami Herald Best Books of the Year, Best Books of the year, and others. Nelson is a recipient of NASA’s prestigious Silver Snoopy Award for “outstanding support provided to the Space Shuttle program” (Goodreads: About R.A. Nelson, n.d.).

Ties to Curriculum Units: N/A

Booktalking Ideas:

Should Frances revisit her past?

Challenging Issues:

There will be some questions about the content on this book since it deals with the murder of children, but I will reassure parents that it is essential to the plot of the novel and is dealt with in a way that is agreeable for teens to read. I choose this book because of it’s subject and it was written beautifully and will impact teens.


Goodreads: About R.A. Nelson. (n.d.) Goodreads. Retrieved from


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