Monday, February 16, 2009


Blackbox by Julie Schumacher was a great YA read. This book centers on the topic of depression, so the idea that this book was enjoyable sounds wrong, yet it was so well written and so hard to put down.

Sisters Dora and Elena had always been close and had a good relationship. Suddenly (at least Elena feels it was sudden) Dora has slipped into depression - Elena calls it 'underneath', as though Dora fell through a trapdoor and was living in a world underneath the rest of them. Initially hospitalized, then medicated and released, Dora continues to battle her demons. Elena feels responsible for her sister's health, but it is through her own counseling sessions that she learns she cannot be responsible for Dora's choices. Schumacher carefully develops this story, including the feelings of guilt and shame that often accompany a diagnosis such as this. Elena finds help in the form of a neighbor, Jimmy Zenk, who tells her of his own brother's battle with being placed in a psychiatric ward. Elena looks to him for advice not knowing where else to turn. The book offers no easy solution or resolution, but is a wonderfully well written chronicle of teenage depression.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

This was a really depressing book. I'm still debating whether or not I want to get it for my middle school library.