Minus Me

Ingelin Rossland, trans. from the Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin. Oneworld/Rock The Boat (PGW, dist.), $10.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-78074-694-4
After 12-year-old Linda collapses at a swim meet, she learns that she has a rare (and fatal) heart condition. With a transplant highly unlikely, Linda begins to envision the life around her “minus me” and turns to a forgotten list of everything she hoped to do by age 13, including kiss a boy, travel on her own, and go to a pop concert. Encouraged by a mysterious new friend, Zak, Linda begins to confront her mean-girl tendencies, which come into sharp relief against her newfound sense of mortality. An 11th-hour revelation brings Linda new truths about herself. The book’s voice is its strongest asset: Linda’s reactions to her situation ring true, and as the book addresses themes of life and culpability with wisdom and humor, philosophical lines intertwine easily with moments of intense emotion. While discussing the afterlife, Zak, who acts as a patient foil to Linda, offers, “People who believe can also doubt.” The use of British slang may require a bit of Googling for readers unfamiliar with it. Ages 10–14. (July)
Reviewed on: 06/22/2015
Release date: 07/01/2015
Genre: Children's
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