Saturday, March 28, 2009

18. Leap - Jane Breskin Zalben

for: Tweens
Published: 2007
272 pgs.
Rating: 4
AUDIO 6 cd's (7.5 hours)
Recorded Books
Female reader: Jennifer Ikeda
Male reader: Jonathan Todd Ross

A story in two voices, Krista and Daniel, have been best friends until about a year ago. They're in middle school now, 6th graders. Daniel, a star swimmer, during a routine anesthesia for a tooth removal, has a reaction that leaves him partially paralyzed. Krista, who has a major crush on Daniel's best friend, Bobby, volunteers to help him practice swim. He can only shuffle around using a walker, needs to take a special bus to school, has a full-time aid. But, as we watch the year unfold, not only does he begin to recover, but they both grow up. A lot.

Krista's "journey" includes the friendships of her three closest friends, all very different (of course). Three stereotypical personalities - the gorgeous girl who all the girls envy and roll their eyes at and about, the sweet one, the jock who doesn't like anything frilly, and the protagonist. Nothing wrong with this, I guess, the story has its merits, its problems, its many things for readers to think about. What do you do with a 12-year old friend who has a fake driver's license and gets a tattoo? First kisses, first boy/girl parties, lots to think about.

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