Recommended reading by the National Mental Health Association.
To his mother, twelve-year-old Benjamin Sherman is an object of pity and anxiety. To his father, he is bizarre and embarrassing. To his psychiatrist, he is a case study in mental illness. To the counselors at the camp where he is spending his summer, Benjamin is a “freaky kid” who shuns his peers and is strangely—and perhaps dangerously—attached to his best friend, Elliot, a stuffed letter H.
Through the letters of his sister, mother, father, camp counselors, and psychiatrist—and, most touchingly, through those Benjamin writes to Elliot—this audacious and utterly unsentimental novel gives us a moving and sometimes shocking intimacy with a child whose disorder may be a kind of fragile genius. H is an astute, sympathetic evocation of the state we persist in calling “madness.”
“A new and mind-boggling perspective on mental illness from the point of view of the sufferer and those who would love and care about him. . . . H is a very poignant, enthralling debut.”—The Boston Globe
“Shepard is a reverse archaeologist, designing a tiny contemporary lost world for readers to excavate. . . . Everything matters. . . Shepard gets everything right.”—New York magazine
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YA?This brief epistolary novel is a dazzling melange of letters written by at least 10 different characters, including the eponymous H, a stuffed toy belonging to Benjamin, 12, a borderline autistic child sent to summer camp to learn social skills. To the adult world, Benjamin is excessively withdrawn. In fact, he lives in a world in which the stuffed H is named Elliot and is one of many Elliots, aliens who reside in "Elliottown." Besides revealing the bizarre complexity of the boy's imagination, the letters contrast sharply with the well-meaning but uncompromising missives from the adults in the his life. Shepard uses each letter to reveal not only information, but also the character of the writer; even the absence of communications is often revealing. The cumulative effect is to explain subtly Benjamin's condition. Teens should be amused by the delightful irony and the mildly satirical camp scenes, and will enjoy the unusual freedom of being allowed to infer character.?Chip Barnett, Rockbridge Regional Library, Lexington, VA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Shepard's first novel consists of a series of letters that take the reader into the life of mentally disturbed, 12-year-old Benjamin as he goes off to summer camp, burdened with more than the usual homesickness and social concerns. H is a stuffed letter that Benjamin carries about, confides in, and shares an amazing dual life with. The reader learns of the depth of this situation only after reading the section of letters about Benjamin sent between his psychiatrist, camp director, counselors, and parents describing the outward demeanor of this troubled child. More interesting is the section of letters that Benjamin writes to H (and accumulates under his bed) after his parents take the letter home at mid-summer. The final section of letters portrays Benjamin's stay in a hospital and slow recovery under medical supervision. Heartbreaking and illuminating. Denise Perry Donavin
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Book Description Book Condition: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Bookseller Inventory # 97801402438950000000
Book Description 1996. PAP. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VP-9780140243895
Book Description Penguin Books Australia, Australia, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. H is for Elliot. Elliot is twelve-year-old Benjamin Sherman s best friend. To the counselors at the camp where he is spending his first summer, Benjamin is a freaky kid who shuns his peers and is strangely - and perhaps dangerously - attached to Elliot, his stuffed letter H. To his mother, Benjamin is an object of anxiety and pity. To his father, he s bizarre and embarrassing. To his psychiatrist, he is a case study in mental illness. Benjamin has a ritual and reason for everything, from the way he makes pizza bagels to his first kiss to his communion with the toy that the grownups all around him are so intent on taking away. And if those rituals are in any way disturbed, the outcome may not be Benjamin s recovery - it may be his destruction. Through the letters of Benjamin s mother and father, his sister, Lemon, his camp counselors and psychiatrist - and most touchingly through those Benjamin himself writes to his stuffed confidant, Elliot - this audacious and utterly unsentimental novel gives us a moving and sometimes shocking intimacy with a child whose disorder may be a kind of fragile genius. H is compelling, disturbing, and truthful in a single breath - a riveting look at what is irrevocably lost as Benjamin becomes more normal. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9780140243895
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Book Description Penguin Books, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0140243895
Book Description Penguin Books 1996-06-01, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 0140243895 We guarantee all of our items - customer service and satisfaction are our top priorities. Please allow 4 - 14 business days for Standard shipping, within the US. Bookseller Inventory # TM-0140243895
Book Description Penguin Books, 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110140243895
Book Description 1996. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. H is for Elliot. Elliot is twelve-year-old Benjamin Sherman's best friend. To the counselors at the camp where he is spending his first summer, Benjamin is a freaky kid who sh.Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 176 pages. 0.150. Bookseller Inventory # 9780140243895
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