Phoenix Rising or How to Survive Your Life

Cynthia D. Grant, Author, Rickford Grant, Author Atheneum Books $15 (148p) ISBN 978-0-689-31458-2
Set in the months following her sister's death from cancer, this novel explores Jessie's grief and her reconciliation with the loss and reawakening to life. Jessie, 17, is in therapy, haunted by panic attacks and nightmares in which she tries to find her sister. Although torn by the tragedy, her family tries to help Jessie, but she retreats into her room, unable to cope. In the end, while her sister's last diary and old boyfriend help, it is Jessie herself who makes herself go on. Unlike some of the other books that deal with the issue of teenage cancer, this story has the genuine and unsentimental ring of honesty. The dead girl is not a saint, and her fate is pathetically all too common. Grant's exploration of Jessie and her family's survival is thought-provoking and satisfying. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/27/1989
Release date: 03/01/1989
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