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Black Box
Contributor(s): Schumacher, Julie

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ISBN: 0385735421     ISBN-13: 9780385735421
Publisher: Delacorte Pr
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Binding Type: Hardcover - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: August 2008
* Not available - Not in print at this time *
Annotation: WHEN DORA, ELENA'S older sister, is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, Elena can't seem to make sense of their lives anymore. At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora's friends and Jimmy Zenk--who failed at least one grade and wears blackevery day of the week. And at home, Elena's parents keep arguing with each other. Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal--even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Depression, Mental; Fiction.
Sisters; Fiction.
Family problems; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2007045774
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 0.75" (0.65 lbs) 168 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): lie Schumacher is the author of three books for middle-grade readers. This is her first YA novel. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring)
Elena watches her beloved older sister Dora struggle with a deep depression from which Elena, for once, cannot save her. Can Elena best help Dora by keeping her secrets, or by exposing them? Focusing on the sisters' tight relationship and the family's fractured dynamic, this powerful novel presents a raw, intimate look at fraught topics including institutionalization and antidepressants for teens. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2008 August #1)

Lena Lindt and her older sister, Dora, have always been close, like "right and left hands laced tight together." They and their parents accept that Dora is the moody but fun one, "a storm on the horizon, [Lena] the needle that always pointed to steady ," a formula that works until Dora is overcome by severe depression in her junior year of high school. Schumacher's (The Book of One Hundred Truths ) characterizations are humane yet shaded: to combat the effect of Dora's illness, Mr. and Mrs. Lindt send the outwardly coping Lena to a therapist but treat Dora's eventual hospitalization like a shameful secret. Lena, meanwhile, feels an us-against-the-parents bond with her sister, who uses their intimacy to pressure Lena to keep secrets that may be endangering her recovery. The title refers to the drugs prescribed for Dora; at least one comes with a "black box" warning, meaning that the person taking it is at increased risk for suicide and needs to be watched closely—traditionally, Lena's job in the family. An expert use of metaphor, combined with sympathetic insight into the impact of depression on families, turns a painful subject into a standout novel. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)

[Page 63]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2008 August)

Gr 7 Up— Stable and stoic Elena is a high school freshman when her beloved older sister, Dora, is hospitalized for depression. Elena takes it upon herself to look after her sibling when she comes home, while Dora and, ultimately, the entire family fall to pieces. In the end, Elena, with the help of her friend Jimmy Zenk, comes to realize that she alone can't make her better and that Dora has to help herself. With few words, characters are expertly fleshed out. For example, telling details reveal Elena's personality: "Matching socks was generally acknowledged to be my specialty." Schumacher eloquently describes the devastating effect that depression can have on a family. The writing is spare, direct, and honest. Written in the first person, this is a readable, ultimately uplifting book about a difficult subject.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY

[Page 132]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
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