Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy (Pa... Cover Art

Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy (Paperback)

By: Sonya Sones


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Review

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 teens, notably the Newbery-award winning Out of the Dust, by Karen Hesse, and Robert Cormier''s boyhood memoir, Frenchtown Summer. Teen readers may even be so inspired as to try their own hand at this challenging but satisfying form. (Ages 10 and older) --Patty Campbell

Short Desription

It happens just like that, in the blink of an eye. An older sister has a mental breakdown and has to be hospitalized. A younger sister is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief and friends who turn their backs on her. But worst of all is the loss of her big sister, her confidante, her best friend, who has gone someplace no one can reach.

In the tradition of The Bell Jar, I Never Promised You a Rose Garden, and Lisa, Bright and Dark comes this haunting first book told in poems, and based on the true story of the author''s life.

2000 Best Books for Young Adults (ALA) and 2000 Quick Picks for Young Adults (Recomm. Books for Reluctant Young Readers)



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