cover image Words on Bathroom Walls

Words on Bathroom Walls

Julia Walton. Random House, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-399-55088-1

Echoing the premise and structure of Flowers for Algernon, this frank and inspiring novel shows how a teen’s life changes after he is given an experimental medication to treat symptoms of schizophrenia. Since age 12, Adam has been tormented by voices and hallucinations. He’s lost friends, as well as the hope that he’ll ever be normal. Now that he’s 16 and has started a clinical trial for miracle drug ToZaPrex, things are changing. Adam still hears voices and hallucinates, but for the first time, he can delineate what’s real and what’s not, and that makes all the difference. His journal entries, written to his therapist during the drug trial, draw readers into the mind of an intelligent, witty young man as he embraces the pleasures of finding a new friend, being accepted on an academic team, and winning a girl’s heart. But as the quality of Adam’s life improves, so do his anxieties. First-time author Walton creates a psychologically tense story with sympathetic characters while dispelling myths about a much-feared condition. Ages 12–up. Agent: Heather Flaherty, Bent Agency. (July)