A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS by Alyssa B. Sheinmel

A DANGER TO HERSELF AND OTHERS

Age Range: 14 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A highly intelligent teen lays out all the reasons she has been wrongly accused of a crime.

Hannah knows it’s a mistake that she’s been institutionalized. She and her friend Agnes were just playing games, and it’s a terrible tragedy that Agnes fell out of a second-story window. All Hannah wants is to be at her friend’s bedside, but instead she’s stuck in this mental institution being questioned daily by Dr. Lightfoot and kept separate from all the other patients. It’s not until she gains a roommate, Lucy, that Hannah begins to connect with someone, and soon she is allowed small excursions out of her room for lunch and showers. Finally she has someone she can take care of and guide, as she did Agnes, while she waits for the error of her involuntary commitment to be rectified. She’s confident that everything will be taken care of soon. It becomes clear early on that something is off about Hannah’s account of the summer school program where she met Agnes, who later became her best friend, and about the night Agnes fell. It’s just a question of exactly which parts of her story we can trust and which we can’t. Hannah is white by default (as is Agnes) and Jewish, Lucy is coded Latinx, and there is some diversity in secondary characters.

Not an astoundingly surprising plot but a respectful, authentic rendering of mental illness and treatment nonetheless. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-4926-6724-7
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2018




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