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The Freak Observer [Audio]

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Gr 8 Up-Jessica Almasy brings to life Blythe Woolston's William C. Morris Debut Award-winning novel (Carolrhoda, 2010) with a dark tone that matches the intensity of the story. Loa, 16, often uses her science teacher's lessons to describe the life swirling around her. Each of the book's chapters is introduced by a relevant science theory or problem. Loa's life is filled with deep layers of sadness intensified by post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She lost her younger sister to a genetic disorder, her best friend to a brutal accident that she witnessed, and her parents to alcohol. Haunted by vividly disturbing dreams and flashbacks, Loa is navigating through her life while trying to define herself apart from these traumas. Listeners will sympathize with Loa as she struggles to cope with her reality and especially when a seemingly caring boy takes advantage of her. The narrator's pacing and delivery makes this sound like a novel in verse, with broken sentences and harder punctuations in select spots. While this is distracting at first, it subtly becomes more natural and fits Loa's feelings of being disconnected.-Stephanie A. Squicciarini, Fairport Public Library, NY (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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