SEAN GRISWOLD'S HEAD by Lindsey Leavitt


Age Range: 12 & up
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Payton Gritas’ world is turned upside down when she discovers her father has multiple sclerosis and that her parents and older brothers have kept the news from her for six months. Devastated, Payton is referred to the school counselor, who, within seconds of meeting her, instructs Payton to select a subject to focus on, other than her father’s illness, and record her observations in a journal. Neither the therapeutic relationship nor the assignment makes much sense, but they get the plot rolling. Payton’s random choice of “focus object” is the head of Sean Griswold, the boy seated ahead of her in biology. Egged on by her best friend, Jac, Payton researches Sean, and her attention evolves into a mutual attraction. Payton is likable and the writing brisk and amusing, but this offering from the author of Princess for Hire (2010), encumbered by too-visible plot contrivances, fails to convince. Complex, significant issues are raised but then accorded frustratingly superficial treatment. Payton’s life and affluent lifestyle are barely affected by her father’s illness; the biggest impact is cancellation of a family spring-break getaway to Florida. While she learns a few lessons about denial and selfishness in the abstract, she’s protected from having to put them in practice. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Pub Date: March 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59990-498-6
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2011


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