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Schreck, Karen Halvorsen. Dream journal.

SCHRECK, Karen Halvorsen. Dream journal. Hyperion. 250p. c2006. 978-1-4231-0106-2. $8.99. J S

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, September 2006: A mother lying in the home dying, a teenager isolated and frightened, a distracted, grieving father--this is the essence of the novel, Dream Journal. The narrator, Livy, is isolated because her father has forbidden her to mention their troubles to friends and neighbors. Only the next-door neighbor, a nurse, and a few other people know what is going on. Livy's father is the local high school coach, so every other teenager respects him and fears him, too. Livy has spent many months staying close to home to help with the care of her mother, and her best friend Ruth feels shut out of Livy's life. In the events of this story, Livy is starting to act out, grabbing what excitement she can find with older teens and Ruth, who is definitely testing the patience of her father, the local preacher. Ruth and her friends, with Livy, are drinking and experimenting with wild behavior. Livy turns 17 at the end of the summer, with her life completely changed. Her plight and her honesty will interest many YA readers. The story is supposed to be happening in the present day, yet it is hard for me to believe families with a dying parent would not have hospice care, and that they would be treating cancer as "dirty linen" not to be discussed in public. I know this was probably true for many a generation ago, and perhaps I'm wrong that it wouldn't be happening somewhere in the US today, but I do find it hard to accept and it might be misleading for YA readers. Still, it's a poignant story that in essence is believable. Claire Rosser, KLIATT
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Publication:Kliatt
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2008
Words:300
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