• 1799

Coming June 25, 2019. Preorder now!

By Karol Ruth Silverstein

An #OwnVoices contemporary debut with humor and heart

Fourteen-year-old Ricky Bloom has just been diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness. Her days consist of cursing everyone out, skipping school - which has become a nightmare - daydreaming about her crush, Julio, and trying to keep her parents from realizing just how bad things are. But she can't keep The Charade up forever. Ricky's afraid, angry, alone, and one suspension away from repeating ninth grade. She'll do whatever it takes to move forward - even if it means changing the person she's become. Maybe asking for help isn't the worst thing in the world. Maybe accepting her circumstances doesn't have to mean giving up.

Author Bio:

Karol Ruth Silverstein, author

Karol Ruth Silverstein attended the American Film Institute and works as a writer and screenwriter in Los Angeles. Cursed is her debut novel.

Awards & Honors:

JLG 2019 selection

Editorial Reviews:

Kirkus Reviews

A teen fights to put her life back together after developing a painful chronic illness and secretly skipping school for six weeks. Ricky lives in Philadelphia in her father's one-room "Batch Pad," sleeping on a lumpy "Sofa-Bed-From-Hell." Her parents unilaterally decided she'd live there because Mom's house, in another neighborhood, has three stories—and Ricky, as of four months ago, has juvenile arthritis. She has chronic pain—"dull and sharp," often excruciating, her joints on fire. Her feet feel like she is walking on broken glass. So she bailed on school—the bullying didn't help either—and, instead, waits each morning for Dad to leave, then crawls into his (non-sofa-)bed, desperate for sleep. Naturally, she's caught. This justifiably furious kid who says "Fucking asshole!" to a teacher's face launches "Operation Catch-Up-So-I-Can-Get-The-Hell-Out-Of-This-Crap-Ass-School"—in other words, somehow pass ninth grade. Ricky's sharp, flowing, uninhibited voice makes this a page-turner. Her life improves: accessibility accommodations, a proper bed, agency (sometimes!), a new doctor, more treatment options. The ending's a bit glossy, but Ricky's pain and future aren't romanticized. Ricky's white and Jewish, and her family is middle-class; characters default to white, and brown skin and curly hair are sometimes exoticized. Protagonists with chronic nonmalignant pain and illness are far too rare; this does the job.


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ISBN: 978-1-58089-940-6

ISBN: 978-1-63289-799-2 EPUB

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 12+
Page count: 320
51/2 x 81/4

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