Clara struggles to cope with the painful realities of illness, loss, uncertainty, and recovery, after her close friend Nettie is felled by a stroke and must battle her way back through long, difficult months of recuperation.
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Grade 4-7-- After her first two choices decline, ten-year-old Clara reluctantly invites a girl she hardly knows and her twin sister to spend a week at grandmother's farm. When they finally come, Clara and Nettie, the more outgoing of the two, are drawn to each other. Patty, the shy twin, accepts this friendship and plays with Clara's younger siblings or entertains herself. Shortly after they return to school, Nettie is struck down by a cerebral hemorrhage. During the months she is in a coma, Patty and Clara comfort one another, but they realize that neither one can replace a best friend or beloved sister. When Nettie finally comes home, she slowly regains physical and some mental capabilities, but she is a shell of her former self. Clara invites her to the farm hoping to rekindle her spirit. Finally, her understanding mother and wise grandmother help Clara accept Nettie as she is. Although the medical problem here is severe and unusual, it serves to show how events can change friendships yet leave them still important and valued. This warm, tender first novel will touch the hearts of readers with its poignant theme of friendship found, lost, and regained. --Virginia Golodetz, St. Michael's College, Winooski, VT
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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