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Harrington, Karen.
Boston : Little, Brown and Co., 2013
IL 5-8, RL 4.8
ISBN 0316210587
Click on the book to read Amazon reviews
Twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson has just finished sixth grade and is looking forward to her summer vacation. For the first time ever, her father is letting her stay home in Garland instead of going to Houston to be with her grandparents. Sarah is a survivor. When she was two, her mentally ill mother tried to drown her and her twin brother. Tragically, Simon died but Sarah survived. Her mother has lived in a mental institution ever since and, except for twice-a-year letters from her, Sarah doesn’t know her mother at all. Her father has a drinking problem and cannot cope with the notoriety that follows them everywhere.
Sarah copes with her situation by writing. She loves words and writes them down in her diary. Some are “trouble” words like “crazy” and some are new favorites like “pizzazz.” She writes letters to the fictional Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, a man she wishes her father could be. And she makes lists of everything, including a list of signs that she might be going crazy too. For now, all she really wants is a normal, fun summer. Does she get it?
  (Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher award, 2015)

SUBJECTS:     Mental illness -- Fiction.
                        Family problems Fiction.
                        Coming of age -- Fiction.
                        Texas -- Fiction.

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