SIDE EFFECTS by Amy Goldman Koss
Kirkus Star

SIDE EFFECTS

Age Range: 11 - 15

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hilarious and harrowing by turns, Koss tells the story of an artistic 14-year-old girl whose garden-variety life goes bizarre when she’s diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Suddenly, she’s dealing with the alien world of the hospital, while finding that her cancer has made her a social alien in high school. Not that she has much time for socializing; she’s too busy throwing up from the chemotherapy and then too exhausted to care. The secondary characters, such as the heroine’s constantly crying, yet there-for-her-daughter mom, her loyal and gallant best friend and her honest and irritated little brother, ring true, as does the gallows humor and dead-on observations about hospital life. And the panoply of reactions from the heroine’s classmates as they cope with her cancer is simultaneously funny, anger inducing and astute. The plot is the situation—a girl contracts and is treated for the disease—and the happy ending is somewhat abrupt, but the telling is precisely voiced, funny and genuine, giving the reader a multifaceted look at a devastating experience. (Fiction. 11-15)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-59643-167-9
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Roaring Brook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2006




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