apart

Written by R.P. Maclntyre and Wendy Maclntyre Groundwood Books 2007 978-0-8889-750-0 (HC) $18.95 for Grades 7 to 12

Review from CCBC's Children's Book News

"Sween" and Jessica are teens bearing up under more than their fair share of adolescent hardships. They meet when Jessica, who lives in small town New Brunswick, places an ad in Sween's local Prairie newspaper beginning with the words, "Looking for My Missing Father." With that startling opening, Sween and Jessica begin a long exchange of letters in which they share their problems, concerns, and small joys. Fortunately for the reader, both have a talent for writing heartfelt, honest, and often poetic prose.

Jessica is able to speak perceptively about her abusive father, alcoholic mother and the autistic younger brother she longs to protect. Sween in turn, shares his feelings regarding his difficulties with his parents, school and mental health problems.
The story is told through this intense exchange of correspondence, which is highly eloquent and often heart-wrenching. Readers will easily be able relate to the characters' views on life and growing up and will find themselves engrossed in this wonderful novel.
I would not be surprised to see this work as a Governor General's Award nominee!"
•      Ann Shantz is a Toronto book and toy retailer.