Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository
*Book was provided by author for honest review*
Young adult fiction winner Amy Ackley of Brighton, Mich. is a mother of three whose career has included a variety of jobs, from public administration to labor relations for top automakers. Ackley left home at the tender age of 16 and has supported herself ever since. Inspired by the loss of her father and two close friends to cancer, Sign Language tells the story of twelve-year-old Abby North. Her first hint that something is wrong with her dad is the scar that appears on his stomach after he goes in for kidney surgery. Soon, the thing she calls "It" has a real name: cancer. Before, her biggest concerns were her annoying brother, the crush unaware of her existence, and her changing feelings for her best friend, Spence. Now, her mother cries in the shower, her father is exhausted, and nothing is normal anymore. Nancy Werlin said the novel "tells its story beautifully and movingly, and it earns its hopeful ending. Ackley is without question a talented writer."
What I thoughtOh. My. I knew a little about what would happen going in, but I had no idea how much of an impact this book would truly make. I was on the verge of tears for most of the first half and the second, I found myself in tears for some pretty intense parts. It was a very emotional read. And I'm glad I read it.
I was able to connect with Abby right away. I wanted to comfort her, protect her and it was hard to watch her experience this at such a young age. Reading through, it was obvious that Abby knew her dad would die, but she hadn't grasped the concept of him not going to be around. It was her first lesson in death and it just about broke my heart.
I'm glad I read this, but it was a hard read. I kept having to put it down to take breaks because it rings very true. Anyone who has lost someone to cancer can relate in so many ways and those who haven't don't feel cut off from the characters or the story. It was beautifully, heart achingly done. It something that definitely needs to be read.
The story's main focus is on Abby learning to deal with losing her father, but I loved to see how it went from losing him to learning how to live and how to heal. It is a story that everyone should read.
If you would like to help those who have suffered through cancer, Amy has provided me with a few links to check out.
Kidney Cancer Association (www.KidneyCancer.org)
Ele's Place (www.elesplace.org) *Helps kids who have/had parents with cancer*
And here is one for me. This is for my home county in Wyoming and it gives money directly to those with cancer to help with bills or transportation fees or anything else that the cancer patient needs help with.
Cowboys Against Cancer (www.cowboysagainstcancer.com)
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