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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sweet Hereafter, Angela Johnson

From the Publisher: SHOOGY DOESN'T KNOW WHERE SHE belongs. Since she moved to Heaven, she can count on one hand the number of people she can depend on. Her family doesn't understand her, and school isn't working out. In Curtis she finds someone with a similar habit of wanting to be alone -- and so they spend time alone together. As their relationship matures, Curtis has to deal with the real demons of his experience in Iraq, and Shoogy must come to terms with what it means to truly care about -- and lose -- someone. Angela Johnson tackles her most difficult subject yet in this heartrending look at the far-reaching effects of war and the possibilities it destroys.

Strengths: Angela Johnson is a terrific writer who generally develops strong characters. This book finishes the trilogy that began with Heaven, and continued in The First Part Last, one of my favorite YA books of all time. This story deals with the Iraq war and its effects on young veterans. This is an important topic not addressed in many YA novels.

Weaknesses: I felt like I was unclear on what was happening during a lot of this story, and I worry that many kids will too.  This book is definitely for more mature readers with strong inference skills.

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