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Fiction Ages 12+
Pages: 172
Themes: disability, guilt, friendship
Publisher: Second Story Press
Pub Date: 01/02/2013
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Alex is seventeen years old, and she feels her life has come to an end. After being involved in an accident that killed her best friend, she doesn't see why anyone would want her around. Sentenced to community service, she is assigned to spend time with Joanie, a severely disabled girl who is trapped in a body she can't control and seemingly unable to communicate. Alex comes to believe that maybe Joanie can be reached, and that together they can find a way to connect with the world around them—Alex from her self-imposed exile, and Joanie for the first time.

Joanie has been listening and watching as the world goes on around her for all of her seventeen years. But she is so full of words and thoughts and images that if she ever could figure out a way to let them loose, they would come swirling out in a torrent of syllables. She would fill every room with the colors of her dreams until the whole world became a rainbow of her making. If only she could figure out a way…

Resource Links - June 1, 2013
"The story is a moving one and deals with many issues such as overcoming trauma and grief. Readers will not only sympathize with the characters but will come to understand their personal conflicts on an emotional level...Shaw has written a novel that transcends differences and inspires hope in its readers. A great novel to use when dealing with death and grief and is suitable for a wide range of readers."
School Library Journal - May 1, 2013
"The story starts slowly but builds to a strong emotional climax and gives readers a sense that Alex will recover from her trauma as her world slowly regains color."


CCBC Best Books  | 2013 | Commended
Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year  | 2014 | Commended
Stellar Book ACAward nominee  | 2015 | Short-listed

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