Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Introducing Sasha Abramowitz by Sue Halpern

Sasha Marie Curie Abramowitz is a pretty typical eleven year-old. She is an aspiring writer/pastry chef, smart, funny, a good friend, good listener, and when she wants to be, a good talker. As long as that does not include talking about her feelings about her family, particularly her older brother who attends a special boarding school for kids with emotional and behavioral problems. Danny has Tourette's Syndrome, and his relationship with the rest of the family is complicated. Sasha's parents don't talk much to Sasha about Danny, and Sasha would rather do anything than talk to her psychologist Dr. Serkowsky, "the Eraser", as she refers to him. To make matters worse, her best friend Carla has suddenly discovered boys, and now she doesn't seem to have much time for Sasha lately. Then Sasha meets Andrew Hardy, a student at Krieger College where Sasha's parents are both professors and dorm parents, and she thinks that perhaps she finally has a friend to confide in. That is until an unexpected event brings Danny home to spend the summer with his family and Sasha's world threatens to be turned upside down again. This is a wonderful book, full of well-developed and likeable characters, and surprising plot twists and turns. It sheds some light onto the effects of a debilitating neurological disorder on family relationships, without being too technical or preachy. Highly recommended. Review by Jane Malmberg.

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