WORLDS APART by Lindsay Lee Johnson


Age Range: 14 & up
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A teen moves from Chicago to rural Minnesota in 1959 and finds her new life “worlds apart” from normalcy. A popular student at Morningside Academy, 13-year-old Winnie is shocked when her father unexpectedly accepts a five-year position as resident doctor at Bridgewater State Hospital, a mental institution in Minnesota where the family must live on hospital grounds, isolated from the nearest town. Typecast as the “Lone Retard” by cruel classmates, Winnie’s only friend is a solitary boy from the Indian reservation who relates to her pariah status. Winnie pretends her situation is temporary and fantasizes about returning to Chicago, but reality sets in when her mother suffers a breakdown. Initially disturbed by the mental patients, Winnie gradually realizes they are human beings, accepts that her old world is gone and decides “life—the weird, the wicked, and the wonderful parts of it . . . ” must be experienced. This disturbing peek inside a mental institution from Winnie’s perspective raises important questions about those who are marginalized out of ignorance. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: Nov. 15th, 2005
ISBN: 1-932425-28-4
Page count: 176pp
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005


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