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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

See Previous Book

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Teen Books That Have Something to Say


A Time for Dancing

Review

A Time for Dancing
by Davida Wills Hurwin
Puffin (reprint),(1997)
ISBN-10: 0140386181

My rating:



"Cancer." She whispered it so lightly I almost didn't hear. Then the word flew over and smacked me.
I stopped, as in ceased. Completely, utterly, no life in me for what seemed like years. Immense silence descended. I could only hear my heart. Everything else had moved outside my range of perception. Nothing was possible---not speech, not tears, not thought.
... I wished I could go back to yesterday and skip right to tomorrow, so this could not occur.
Then I wanted to laugh. Bubbles of it came up from inside, and there wasn't a thing I could do to stop them. Sounds started coming out---rigid, ugly sounds---and I wanted to tell Jules I was sorry, I didn't really think it was funny, that I didn't mean to laugh, but I couldn't stop. The sounds kept pouring out. All of a sudden, it wasn't laughing any more---it was tears.
--A Time for Dancing, Davida Wills Hurwin, p. 64.

Samantha and Julie have been close friends, almost inseparable, ever since they nine in dancing school. But when they are both seventeen, Julie is diagnosed with cancer—cancer that is moving fast through her body. With the diagnosis, things change. Although Julie goes through chemotherapy, it is not effective, and both girls realize she is dying, and her dream of becoming a professional dancer is dying with her.

The friendship and honesty that came so easily before now falters and becomes harder as Julie struggles with the changes her illness brings, and both girls struggle with the thought of her dying. Samantha tries to be there for Julie, but her fear at losing Julie sometimes interferes. Yet in the end, both girls are able to face Julie's death with courage, and are able to find a kind of closure.

The book is written in alternating sections from Samantha and Julie's point of view, and each character is fully drawn, believable, and layered. Samantha and Julie's families are also very real, as are the reactions of other people, and the medical setting. With true-to-life reactions, great details, and evocative prose, A Time for Dancing will pull you in and keep you there for the entire book; it is a gripping read.

This is a deeply moving, intense, emotional book that feels honest and real. It's very well written; you're always right there with the two girls, never pulled out of the story. If you haven't read this book yet, go pick up a copy. It's a powerful book that will make you treasure your friends and the love you have, and may even help you move through some of the fear and pain associated with death. If you've known love and loss, you'll be able to relate. Highly recommended.


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