Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Black Box by Julie Schumacher

Elena's older sister, Dora, seems to snap one day, suddenly changing from a dramatic, emotional girl into a teen who sees no point in living.

Always the stable one, Elena is determined to save her sibling after she gets out of a mental hospital, but -- now skipping classes and engaging in other risky behaviors -- Dora doesn't much resemble the sister that she's always known.

Can the school bad boy help Elena rescue the sister she loves from crushing depression?

This came into my library as a Junior Library Guild pick, and the books they choose are generally solid reads. The cover is haunting, and students have really responded positively to this slim book. Good for struggling readers.

Bibliotherapeutic value: A honest and straight-forward look at depression, it can help tweens and teens understand this at times mystifying mental illness. It nicely captures the helplessness that is felt by those witnessing its tenacious grip.

Schumacher, Julie. Black Box. New York: Delacorte Books for Young Readers,

ISBN: 0385735421. $15.99.

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