Be­hind These Hands

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews | Adult Nonfiction / Juvenile / Ya - CAMILLE-YVETTE WELSCH

Linda Vi­gen Phillips Light Mes­sages (JULY) Soft­cover $16.99 (300pp) 978-1-61153-259-3

When a mem­ber of her fam­ily re­ceives a ter­mi­nal di­ag­no­sis, four­teen-year-old Claire Fairchild sud­denly ques­tions her ev­ery ac­tion, won­der­ing what re­mains im­por­tant in the face of the chal­lenge. This novel writ­ten in verse sticks close to Claire’s heartache as she nav­i­gates not only her own re­ac­tion to the news but the re­ac­tions of her fam­ily and friends. This is a com­pelling story in whose hero­ine other strug­gling teens might see them­selves.

Claire is a mu­sic prodigy. She spends hours at the pi­ano, lis­ten­ing for the con­ver­sa­tion that oc­curs between her hands and the in­stru­ment. She shares this pas­sion for mu­sic with her long­time best friend, Juan, against whom she is com­pet­ing for a schol­ar­ship based on their own com­po­si­tions.

When her younger brother re­ceives a di­ag­no­sis of Bat­ten dis­ease, Claire strug­gles to find a way back into her own life that feels sig­nif­i­cant. Shocked and terrified, she yearns to cel­e­brate her brother’s life and make her own worth­while.

Short, tar­geted scenes and ru­mi­na­tions keep close to the emo­tional tur­moil Claire ex­pe­ri­ences. Her voice is young and au­then­tic, pay­ing close at­ten­tion to her friend­ships and re­la­tion­ships. As her par­ents strug­gle to help their chil­dren, Claire finds her fam­ily re­la­tion­ships chang­ing; each per­son must de­ter­mine how to rene­go­ti­ate their con­nec­tions. Here it is clear how a se­vere di­ag­no­sis guts not only pa­tients but their fam­i­lies too.

Still, Claire finds a way to bring hope to the story. Writ­ten to help young adults and their fam­i­lies han­dle men­tal and phys­i­cal health chal­lenges, the story speaks to an often for­got­ten pop­u­la­tion and does so without ex­ploit­ing the sit­u­a­tion for melo­drama. It can help teach­ers and stu­dents alike to un­der­stand how young peo­ple weather and grow from chal­leng­ing men­tal and phys­i­cal di­ag­noses.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.