Recovering a suppressed memory during a drama class exercise, eighteen-year-old Stephanie suffers a nervous breakdown and witnesses the shattering of her theatrical dreams before attempting to adjust to a new public school.
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Many fine young adult novels about molestation have been built on a basic framework: a disturbed teenager hides a traumatic incident, suffers alone, and is finally healed when she is able to share her secret with a therapist or friend. The compelling titles in this genre include When She Hollers, by Cynthia Voigt; Telling, by Marilyn Reynolds; I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, by Jacqueline Woodson; and The Hanged Man, by Francesca Lia Block. They are now joined by Julia Hoban's compassionate first novel, Acting Normal. Eighteen-year-old Stephanie Holt wants to "act normal" at her new school, which means concealing her past career as an actress in TV commercials, her aspirations to be a "real" actor, and the terrible event in her recent past that has led to a year of institutions and psychiatrists. Her secretiveness separates her from the possibility of friendship until brash, sarcastic Dahlia takes her on as a buddy. With the help of many sessions with an understanding therapist, Stephanie is finally able to face the memory of the nanny who abused her when she was 5 years old--a memory that devastated her when it suddenly surfaced during an acting class. With newfound strength and a clearer understanding that she was not at fault for the abuse, Stephanie is able to help her friend Dahlia solve her problems with an older boyfriend, and to courageously embark upon her own plans to pursue acting. Teens with an interest in repressed memories and troubled childhoods will find Stephanie's revelation moving and inspiring. --Patty CampbellAbout the Author:
Julia Hoban's books for children include the I Can Read Books Buzby and Buzby to the Rescue, both illustrated by John Himmelman. An actress and playwright, Ms. Hoban lives in New York City.
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Book Description HarperTeen, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0060235195
Book Description HarperTeen, 1998. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0060235195