BRUSHING MOM’S HAIR by Andrea Cheng

BRUSHING MOM’S HAIR

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Based on Cheng’s experience, this candid story sensitively explores a teenager’s emotions as she copes with her mother’s illness and recovery during treatments for breast cancer. Writing in free verse, Ann is just shy of 15 when her mother is diagnosed. Backed by a loving and supportive family, Ann goes about her daily life, yet everything is permeated by the thought of her mother’s illness. She has difficulty talking about it to friends: “I don’t say, / My mom / had both her breasts cut off / and now she has stitches / covered by bandages / where they were.” Instead, Ann copes by immersing herself in ballet. The author never shies from sharing the gritty details, from cleaning the tubes with bulbs attached “like turkey basters” where her breasts use to be, to hair loss, fainting and chemo treatments, all the while realistically conveying Ann’s fears and uncertainty. Wong’s delicate black-and-white sketches that grace each poem make Ann look somewhat younger than 15. As a result, this slim volume is likely to appeal to a correspondingly younger audience. Worthy and moving. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-59078-599-7
Page count: 64pp
Publisher: Wordsong/Boyds Mills
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2009




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