The Survival Kit

Donna Freitas. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-374-39917-7
Freitas (The Gorgeous Game), a PW contributor, delves into the heart and mind of a grieving teen in this insightful story of recovery. After 16-year-old Rose loses her mother to cancer, her interests in cheerleading, football games, and her quarterback boyfriend diminish. Then she discovers the survival kit her mother created for her, a paper bag filled with symbolic items—a photograph of peonies, an iPod, a box of crayons, and more. As Rose learns the meaning behind the objects, she cautiously begins to reach beyond her grief to once again appreciate life. The process is both painful and rewarding, but she makes a significant step forward by bonding with Will, a hockey star who has also dealt with a parent’s death. Those who have lost a loved one will recognize a part of themselves in Rose and appreciate her quest to find the inner strength to reconfigure the shattered pieces of her life. Even though readers never meet Rose’s mother, they will come to know how special she was through the treasures she left behind and her enormous impact on her family. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/29/2011
Release date: 10/01/2011
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