It happened to Sonya Sones. Her brilliant sequence of poems describes the night her
19-year-old sister suddenly turns into a screaming stranger and is taken away to a psychiatric hospital. She portrays a loving family torn apart by grief; the ordeal of hospital visits; the anxiety of a 13-year-old that her friends will reject her if they find out, or that this could happen to her too; and finally her acceptance that her life has been forever changed.
This is a stunning book in the tradition of THE BELL JAR. It is the first by Sonya Sones, whose poems evoke an ordinary teenager's shattered world with powerful intensity. Deeply human and affecting, and very readable, this is an inspirational book that has already won many awards and accolades in the US, and speaks to adults just as much as teenagers.
'A tour de force. Sones never wavers ¿ in the authenticity of her voice' Boston Globe
'This novel in verse shows the capacity of poetry to record the personal and translate it into the universal ¿ there are wonderful surprises' Booklist
'The form, a story-in-poems, fits the story remarkably well, spotlighting the musings of the 13-year-old narrator, and pinpointing the emotions powerfully ¿ To a budding genre ¿ this book is a welcome addition' Kirkus Review
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The subtitle of Stop Pretending says it all: "What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy". In a sequence of short, intense poems based on the author's own experiences, a 13-year-old girl suffers through her shifting feelings about her sibling's mental illness. She recalls the terror of the Christmas Eve when Sister was suddenly transformed into a stranger; the horror of visiting Sister in the hospital and finding her rocking on all fours; the fear that her friends will find out; her own worry that she, too, may lose her mind; and her wistful memories of Sister as she was before. More complex emotions are also explored, such as her irrational suspicion that Sister may be deliberately acting crazy, as poignantly expressed in the title poem: "Stop pretending. / Right this minute. / Don't you tell me / you don't know me./ Stop this crazy act/ and show me / that you haven't changed. / Stop pretending / you're deranged." Gradually, as Sister begins to recover, the girl is able to find hope and again take pleasure in her own life. Blank verse is perfect for a story with such heightened emotion, and is a format that has been used with great success in other fine novels for teenagers, notably the Newbery-award winning Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, and Robert Cormier's boyhood memoir, Frenchtown Summer. (Ages 10 and older) -- Patty CampbellReview:
"A distinctive, honest, illuminating and very necessary book." -- Lindsey Fraser, Guardian Education
"A tour de force" -- Michael Thorn, The Scotsman
"Sensitive, wonderfully written, this is a very special book." -- Paula Danziger
"Sones' autobiographical novel... is an extraordinarily moving account of how it feels when your family falls apart." -- Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
"This is a truthful and moving book. It will gain a devoted readership." -- David Almond
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Book Description HarperTeen. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0060283874. Bookseller Inventory # GHT3353PPVW072816H0464A
Book Description HarperTeen, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060283874
Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97800602838721.0
Book Description HarperTeen, 1999. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0060283874