Sean Griswold's Head

Lindsey Leavitt, Author
Lindsey Leavitt, Bloomsbury, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-59990-498-6
Reviewed on: 01/31/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
Paperback - 276 pages - 978-1-59990-911-0
Open Ebook - 978-1-59990-568-6
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A chronic worrier, high school freshman Payton Gritas has just had a massive wrench thrown into her hyperorganized life: for six months her family has kept her father's multiple sclerosis diagnosis a secret from her. The school guidance counselor asks Payton to keep a journal about a "Focus Object" of her choosing, and she picks Sean Griswold's head, since he has sat in front of her in class for years. The drama begins when her boy-crazy best friend, Jac, decides that they should research Sean—and then starts playing matchmaker. Payton soon falls for sensitive Sean and begins to share his passion for cycling, but between her father's illness, her declining grades, and her faltering friendship with Jac, she isn't sure that she can let someone new into her life. Leavitt (the Princess for Hire series) delicately handles topics of illness, evolving relationships, and what it means to grow up. Payton's alternately sarcastic, snappy, and reflective narration ("The truth, I know, is that it's not my dad I'm really mad at. I'm mad at his disease") carries this insightful story. Ages 12–up. (Mar.)
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