cover image Alicia Afterimage

Alicia Afterimage

Lulu Delacre, . . Lee & Low, $19.95 (135pp) ISBN 978-1-60060-242-9

In her first YA book, picture book artist Delacre (Arroz con leche) seizes upon an intimate subject: the death of her 16-year-old daughter, Alicia, in a car crash. Writing of herself as Mamá, she views Alicia through the eyes of friends, classmates and other girls on the Poms dance squad, all of whom Delacre interviewed. Invariably they describe a exuberant and congenial teen, a girl whose worst flaw is a tendency to trick her way out of eating her spinach. Delacre says she hopes to bring comfort to teens struggling with their own sudden losses, but it may be difficult for teens to identify with these idealized relationships. On the other hand, Alicia's friends express their grief realistically and without platitudes: one pretends that she and Alicia have simply lost touch; another finds that talking about Alicia makes it worse. Bereaved readers will be encouraged that whatever their approaches, all of the individuals (including the driver responsible for the crash) eventually begin to feel better without forgetting their friend. Ages 12–up. (Sept.)