37 Things I Love (in No Particular Order)

by Kekla Magoon

Ellis’s father was badly injured two years ago in a fall on a construction... read more

Ellis’s father was badly injured two years ago in a fall on a construction site, and he’s been in a coma ever since. Ellis’s mom had promised that they would never withdraw life support unless she and Ellis agreed the time had come. Now, as Ellis is finishing her sophomore year of high school, she learns that, for her mom, the time has come. Ellis vehemently opposes the idea—she visits her Dad at the ALF (assisted living facility) daily and tells him everything going on in her life, something she’s unable to do with anyone else. Her best friend Abby is much too wrapped up in the drama of her own life, most of which revolves around enticing a cute senior to invite her to the graduation dance, to notice Ellis’s emotional turmoil. When Abby turns meanly on Ellis at a drunken party, Ellis happens into a conversation with Cara. Cara, Abby, and Ellis were once a trio of friends, but Cara fell by the wayside and Ellis doesn’t know why, although both Cara and Abby do. The conversation leads to a rekindling of Ellis and Cara’s friendship, and, for Cara at least, the hope of something more in Kekla Magoon’s lyrical, nuanced story about family, friendship, and love that explores the pain, confusion, and joy so often a part of all three. Magoon quietly reveals how Ellis’s eyes open to Abby’s true character, to the possibility of romance with Cara, and to a future that does not include her dad. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2013

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