by Jessica Warman
Katie never meant to lie about her brother. But it's so much easier to be the new girl with a brother who died rather than the new girl with the brother who is crazy and is in and out of mental hospitals. Or the new girl with the brother who tried to kill her father, or might have killed a hospital worker. So instead she lies and moves on with her life. She's captain of the swim team and has a great boyfriend and friends. But while things are great on the surface, when you are hiding a big lie it's bound to come out sometime.
While Katie's brother is in the book quite a bit, the book itself is not about him. it instead shows the devastation that having a person with mental illness can have on the family (especially when it's an illness that manifests violently). Katie chooses to hide any association with her brother, and we can see throughout the book how guilty and ashamed it makes her feel. It's an interesting look at mental illness from a person who is not suffering from the diseases themselves but is suffering from the aftereffects and from being a bit ignored by her parents because she is not the problem child. Good read for older tweens.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 9th Grade