professornana (professornana) wrote,

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up in the air, again!

Greetings from South Carolina, one of my favorite places. I am here for a workshop tomorrow on YA literature and then off to Atlanta for another seminar Friday. It is part of my SDR tour for the fall. I end up in Houston and Dallas week after next. In any event, planes mean time to read. Don Gallo mentioned Amy Koss' SIDE EFFECTS to me while we chatted in Nashville. So, I scooped it from the shelf as one of the books I packed. Glad Don mentioned it.

Fifteen year old Izzy thinks her swollen glands are a pain in the neck. However, when the doctor discovers that she has lymphoma, Izzy is in for a dizzying and terrifying time dealing with oncologists, friends, and family. Koss gets it right. Here is a teen seriously ill, battling the effects of her chemo, dealing with her weeping mother and resentful brother. Izzy's mother wants to avoid talking about the "c" word. Izzy would love to find one book where the character dealing with cancer does not die. Izzy's friends fluctuate between being too solicitous and wanting to avoid talking about the illness at all.

This is a quick read, imbued with some much needed gallows humor. I know that kids whose lives have been touched either by cancer or who have had close friends/family who have dealt with this disease will find this book true and perhaps even comforting. Since I have too much experience in this arena, I am not willing to speculate about how other readers might respond. I do think that I will be talking about this book when I am next with a group of kids to gauge their reaction.

Edited to add on Saturday....

AND when I finally managed to stumble from bed today I found my 15 year old, Corrie, almost half way through the book. Yep, there is appeal...

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