A timely, eye-opening novel showing how war affects families on both sides
Ever since her brother Sef left for Iraq, Cassie has felt like her life is falling apart. Her parents are fighting over her brother having gone to war. Her smart, beautiful sister is messing up. Her little brother, who has Down syndrome, is pretending he's a Marine. And her best friend no longer has time for her. In her loneliness Cassie turns to a surprising source of comfort: Blue Sky, an Iraqi girl she meets through her blog. The girls begin a correspondence and Cassie learns that when Blue Sky says "I want my life back," she means something profound, as she can no longer venture out in her destroyed city. Cassie takes strength from Blue Sky's courage and is inspired to stop running away from the pain, and to reclaim her life.
"The complexity of war is a challenge in a book for middle-schoolers, but Sullivan gets it right. Cassie's family, honest and hurting, behaves in ways disjointed, unpredictable, and also occasionally heroic. . . . Just as in war, Cassie finds there are no easy answers." - The Horn Book Review
"Effectively captures the messiness of life in a loving family, when outside-world events intervene. Through it all, Cassie discovers her own strengths and rallies everyone around her. . . . A compassionate portrait of a family struggling with painful changes." - Kirkus Reviews
"Effectively sketches Cassie's growing confusion as she learns more and cultivates a more balanced view of the war. . . . Doesn't sugarcoat how hard things are for Cassie's family on the home front, yet captures the resilience and hope that keeps them going." - Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||12 and up|
|Publication Date||Aug 2, 2012|
|Publisher||Nancy Paulsen Books|