Thursday, October 13, 2005

Alt Ed, by Catherine Atkins

Susan is fat, unpopular, and invisible. Invisible, yet she can hear the scorn of her peers at everything she does. When Susan has to attend a special after-school group therapy or be thrown out of school, though, life changes. And as life changes, she comes to terms with her grieving father, her jealous brother, a prank caller, and a life only half lived. Not all of the other kids in her group are so lucky to learn so much, but everyone takes a powerful journey towards learning self-respect.

I'm very torn about this book. It's probably one of the best books I've read recently, but not quite going to make my must-go-out-and-buy-it list. Atkins really gets at you in all angles. She explores shyness, eating disorders, anxiety, bullying, teenage homosexuality, and a whole lot more. The narrative is gripping and it is a hard book to put down. Maybe I just don't want to read it again, because it was so intense. Still, truly a heart warming book where people grow older and wiser and lessons are shared with the reader. Highly recommended.

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