Rules for 50/50 Chances

Kate McGovern. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-374-30158-3
In a strong debut, McGovern investigates mortality, romance, family, race, and class. When Rose and Caleb meet at a “Walk for Rare Genes,” they appreciate not just each other’s company but also the chance to talk honestly about having a seriously ill family member. After Caleb points out how annoying “Sick Loved Ones” can be, Rose breaks another taboo by mentioning death. Caleb, who has family with sickle-cell disease, and Rose, with a 50/50 chance of inheriting Huntington’s, hit it off, but nothing is simple. Rose is deciding between attending college and pursuing ballet, but is either possible, given her mother’s deterioration? And what if Rose carries the Huntington’s gene? There’s a test for that, but no test to decide which is worse—knowing or not knowing. Additionally, Caleb is black, and Rose is white, which makes her realize how much she’s never had to think about. As narrator, Rose is articulate and sympathetic, and though Caleb and his family are a bit too perfect, McGovern skillfully engages with questions of fate, choice, and truly terrible luck. Ages 12–up. Agent: Mollie Glick, Foundry Literary + Media. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/14/2015
Release date: 11/24/2015
Genre: Children's
Ebook - 978-0-374-30160-6
MP3 CD - 978-1-5366-1148-9
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-250-09060-7
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