Saturday, October 1, 2011

Banned Books Week Showcase: Get Well Soon by Julie Halpern

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2007

Anna Bloom is depressed—so depressed that her parents have committed her to a mental hospital with a bunch of other messed-up teens. Here she meets a roommate with a secret (and a plastic baby), a doctor who focuses way too much on her weight, and a cute, shy boy who just might like her.

But wait! Being trapped in a loony bin isn’t supposed to be about making friends, losing weight, and having a crush, is it?

In her fiction debut, Julie Halpern finds humor in the unlikeliest of places, and presents a character whose voice—and heart—will resonate with all of us who have ever felt just a little bit crazy.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Why I'm Showcasing This Book: 

Two reasons really... Number one, it is awesome and has not gotten the attention it deserves. What is the use in being banned if you don't get a bunch of publicity? Number two, this book isn't even remotely objectionable. The complaint? The kids in the book didn't show proper respect for authority. Whoopee! Let's ban the Bible then; that naughty Eve! I could go on, but Julie Halpern summed it up in a POST on her blog when the book was upheld at Theisen Middle School in Fond du Lac, WI, "Because that was the whole point of me writing GET WELL SOON. Or at least one of the points. The adults in Anna's life, my life, didn't deserve respect because they didn't offer any respect to me. It's that simple. And Anna, me, was finally able to gain her own strength to get out of her depression not by the help of the adults but by the help of her peers." Well said, Julie! Nobody is entitled to respect; that is something that is EARNED. If you treat someone with respect, the same should return to you.  I can tell you that NO would-be book banner will ever earn my respect, but an author who understands teens and reaches out to them in her work with humanity, compassion, and humor ALWAYS will!


As you have probably gathered by my reasoning for showcasing this book, I think highly of Julie Halpern.  Into the Wild Nerd Yonder is one of my favorite comedic books EVER (read my review of it HERE).  I loved it.  I found it inspiring and it made me laugh until I peed my pants; I wish it had been around when I was in middle and high school.  I feel the same about this book.  Julie Halpern managed to take a serious subjects like depression and mental illness and put a funny spin on them without disrespecting the depressed and mentally ill.  I can't imagine that this was an easy task and she made it seem effortless.  I would at one moment feel so badly for Anna and a page over be laughing out loud at her wit.  I also loved each and every one of the other characters.  Each had their own endearing qualities (well, maybe not Phil/Shaggy, but I had a good time laughing at him), despite their "problems" (which for most of them, it seemed their lack of competent parents was the biggest "problem".).  The story was great, I was happy with Anna's journey and the person she became because of her stay at Lakeland.  I liked that the book was written through letters to her BFF, Tracy, even if they never got sent.  This format provided a way for us to read some back story.  Although I liked the ending, I would really like to know what the future holds for Anna.  She feels like a friend now.

My Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

Grade Level Recommendation:  There are a few swears, some talk of sex (although no actual sex occurs), making out, and innocent romance.   Obviously, there are a few crazy people...  This book is actually pretty tame as far as what most parents would consider "inappropriate".  I will probably let my 10 year old read it next year in 6th grade.  (Ages 11 and up).

**Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop HERE.  It ends tonight at midnight!!**

1 comment:

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