Note: this edition is discontinued. Instead, please order ASIN: 1364467143
Publication Date: January 27, 2016
Number of Pages: 330Sorry for any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.
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Tiffany Gholar is a lifelong resident of Chicago, Illinois. She is the author of three art books: Post-Consumerism, Imperfect Things, and The Doll Project. A Bitter Pill to Swallow is her first novel, which started out as a short story she wrote during the summer of 1993 when she was about to begin her freshman year of high school. She studied art, creative writing and film at theUniversity of Chicago, where adapting her story into a screenplay was herthesis project. In addition to taking classes in an MFA program in fictionwriting at Columbia College, she also studied interior design at HarringtonCollege of Design, and has a Masters Degree in painting from Governors StateUniversity. She is an artist, writer, interior designer, and Jeopardy! champion.From School Library Journal:
Gr 6-10-Artistic 14-year-old Janina has lived at the Harrison School for Exceptional Youth in Chicago since she was 10 years old. Devante has just been delivered there by his parents because recent trauma has left him depressed and suicidal. Drs. Lutkin and Thomas, who work at the school, are also in times of transition. Meanwhile, the group that owns the school is looking to cut costs. These five plotlines intersect to make a statement about mental health services, especially within African American communities. The decision to set the story in 1994 blurs the message that changes are needed in the present. The cartoonish villainy of the for-profit management group's obsession with cost cutting will work for younger readers but will leave older ones wishing for a more nuanced treatment. That said, the "good" adult characters are nicely fleshed out. Multigenerational stories are uncommon on the YA shelves, and this element of the book fills a gap. Unfortunately, there are some classic first-novel writing technique issues, most notably the rapid shifting among different characters' points of view, done clunkily in the third person. The book helps illuminate how treatment of mental health in African American communities often lags behind that of white suburban communities. Young teens will find Janina and Devante to be likable and will cheer for their happy endings. VERDICT Plagued by some debut-novel writing issues, this book could still help teens reconsider how they think about those living with mental illness.-Kristin Anderson, Columbus Metropolitan Library System, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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