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Posts Tagged «cancer»

When Friendship Followed Me Home

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

by Paul Griffin, 247 pages, Grades 6 and up

“Never let the hill slow you down, Traveler.” This is something Ben’s mom would have said to help him get through difficult times. The trouble is, this hill might just be too steep. Ben is moving in with his aunt and uncle after his mom died; how can he feel “at home” in a place that has never been his home. At least he has Flip and Rainbow girl in his life. Flip is his little dog he can carry around in his backpack, and Rainbow Girl is a new friend who is trying to convince him to help her write a novel. Maybe friendship is just the thing to help him up this hill of troubles.

If you like books about kids overcoming adversity, you might also like: Waiting for Normal, by Leslie Connor, Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan, or The Boy in the Black Suit, by Jason Reynolds.

 

After Ever After

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

after-ever-afterby Jordan Sonnenblick, 260 pages, Grades 6-9

Jeff is a cancer survivor.  When he was five he was diagnosed with Leukemia, but he has been cancer free for years now.  Still, the has to deal with repercussions from the experience. He has a bit of a limp, but that just means he bikes instead of going out for track, and it doesn’t keep Lindsey from thinking he’s cute, so that’s not a big deal.  He also finds math challenging because one of the cancer drugs messed with that part of his brain, but he is not too worried about that either until the state institute an exit exam for the eighth grade.  Normally, this is something that his big brother Steven could have helped Jeff figure out, but he was off finding himself drumming his way through Africa.  Jeff doesn’t want to worry his mom; he feels like she has worried enough about him.  He also doesn’t want to upset his accountant dad who cannot understand why Jeff doesn’t get math the way he does, so he decides to keep them both in the dark.  Luckily his best friend Tad, a cancer survivor himself with after effects of his own, agrees to tutor him in math.  In exchange, Jeff promises that he will help Tad build the strength to walk across the stage at their graduation; Tad uses a wheelchair because his cancer treatment affected the strength in his legs.  Naturally, nothing is as simple or straightforward as it seems, which anyone who has had to battle cancer at five should have realized.

After Ever After is a companion book to Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie.  Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie is told from Jeff’s brother’s point of view when he is first diagnosed with cancer as a little kid.  

If you enjoy books about overcoming adversity, and challenge you might also enjoy:  Running Dream, by Wendelin Van Draanen, or Waiting For Normal, by Leslie Connor.