professornana (professornana) wrote,

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I enjoyed Wendy Mass' LEAP DAY enormously. And just last week at IRA, I read another story where a character suffered from synesthesia. Mass' A MANGO SHAPED SPACE features Mia, an 8th grader who sees letters in colors, who hears sounds in colors as well. Since an incredibly embarrassing incident in kindergarten, Mia has been careful to keep this information to herself. Now, though, her colorful views are making her academic life less than exemplary. After consulting with a psychologist who thinks Mia is simply trying to get attention due to middle child syndrome, she is eventually diagnosed as having a condition known as synesthesia. It is rare though many who study this condition believe that most children can see the world around them in colors, hear music and sounds in terms of color. However, it is rare among folks Mia's age. The diagnosis helps Mia understand that her ability to see the world differently does not make her a FREAK (which is how she refers to herself at the outset of the book) but someone who has to learn how to cope in certain subjects and situations.

Mia is indeed a middle child and her older sister and younger brother pester her to know more than Mia wants to share right now. Mia has much to learn literally and figuratively.

Again, it is the VOICE that carries this work (as it did CUPID). Mia seems a fairly typical 13 year old. She is consumed and concerned with how her peers perceive her. She is hypercritical of people in her life. In other words, she is an 8th grader.
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