THE MIDNIGHT DIARY OF ZOYA BLUME by Laura Shaine Cunningham

THE MIDNIGHT DIARY OF ZOYA BLUME

Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

This wrenching and otherworldly piece about a desperate week in the life of a 12-year-old reads more like adult memoir than children’s fiction. Zoya’s mother leaves suddenly in the middle of the night, promising to be back in several days. Zoya can barely breathe without her and refuses to sleep, drifting between solid wakefulness, dreams and sleepwalking. A kind man named Leon comes to stay, but Zoya warms to him only slowly. Her mother adopted her from a Russian orphanage when she was four, and Zoya clings to her. Zoya’s appropriately emotionally young for 12, but narrative shifts between memory, dream and action feel literarily adult. Zoya’s mother finally comes home, but she has cancer with an unknown prognosis. Don’t mistake kittens born in the bathtub and Leon’s glittery magic act for signs of lightheartedness; scars, fear and sadness abound. Tenderly hopeful at the end, but still quite serious. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: March 29th, 2005
ISBN: 0-06-072259-2
Page count: 160pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2005