When visiting a hospital in Montreal, Quebec, a few years ago, best-selling author India Desjardins met a 10-year-old girl with leukemia. The girl told her she that all the stories about children like her who had cancer had sad endings, so she didn't want to read them. She asked India to write a story about cancer with a happy ending instead, one with laughter and romance.
In this picture book for tween and teen readers, a teenage girl heads towards the hospital waiting room where she'll get her prognosis. As she walks, she thinks about her journey up to this point — the terrible decor in the hospital, wearing a headscarf, the horrible treatments, but also being with her friends, family, and her new boyfriend. She just wants everyone to treat her like a normal person and stop telling her how strong she is — especially her mom. And even though everyone is telling her to stay positive, she sometimes loses hope and even wants to die to make the pain go away. Dreamlike illustrations elegantly convey the emotional complexities of life as a teen with a serious illness.
Like the girl in this story, the girl that India met at the hospital is now cured. She also fell in love during her illness. Today, around eight out of ten children who are diagnosed with cancer are cured. This story was written to give any child who has cancer hope.
"Cancer clichés receive welcome push back: Her best friend’s death was 'definitely not because she wasn’t strong enough or didn’t fight hard enough,' and her own process isn’t a 'battle… because there was nothing I could do to fight it. All I could do was let everything happen'.... Visually dreamlike, textually grounded: a deft balance proving that a single-issue exploration needn’t be formulaic or dry." — Kirkus Reviews
|Recommended Age||10 and up|
|Publication Date||Jan 29, 2019|
|Publisher||Frances Lincoln Children's Books|