Natalie, 12, and her parents are still coping with the death of her older brother, Jimmy, who was killed in a car accident...

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FLAPJACK WALTZES

Natalie, 12, and her parents are still coping with the death of her older brother, Jimmy, who was killed in a car accident two years before. Through memories, which Wilson entwines with Natalie's present in long italicized passages, and an elderly new neighbor, Herta (who experienced her own losses in the Holocaust), Natalie finally understands that she needn't be defined by Jimmy's death, but that he will always be a part of her. Natalie's biggest step, however, is in rekindling her friendship with Zheng, whose brother survived the crash. Wilson's subtle depiction of the gentle companionship of Herta and the ongoing distress of Natalie's parents enhances a touching story about those left behind. The subplots never overshadow Natalie's story, and the author adroitly avoids melodrama, keeping the emotions grounded and true.

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 144

Publisher: "Farrar, Straus & Giroux"

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1998