Friday, June 24, 2011

CELLULAR by Ellen Schwartz

Life is good for Brendan.  His basketball team is headed for the championship.  He's planning on a basketball scholarship for college and maybe even a chance at a professional career.  He has a hot girlfriend and a ton of friends.  It's the perfect life until Brendan starts feeling like crap. 

He has no energy and it's beginning to show in his game.  Instead of being a star player, he finds himself riding the bench and trying to avoid angry glares from Coach.  It has gotten so bad that when he mother again suggests a visit to the doctor, Brendan agrees.

Leukemia!  You've got to be kidding.  Brendan is shocked by the diagnosis.  Before he knows it, he's in the hospital undergoing tests that will determine the severity of his illness and how much chemotherapy he will need. 

Brendan's family is extremely supportive, but when he learns the extent of his treatment and the fact that he will miss the rest of the basketball season and probably not graduate with his friends, his anger explodes.  He knows he is being a jerk, but the nausea from the chemo and the pitying looks from family and friends are more than he can take.  Life simply can't get any worse.

Then Brenda meets Lark.  She's gone through what he is suffering twice, and now she's waiting for a bone marrow transplant which means she reached the last resort level of treatment.  Still, Lark remains positive, and she shares her upbeat attitude with Brendan.  He can't believe her amazing outlook despite her very disturbing prognosis.  Brendan begins to rely on Lark, and together they become each other's support team.

CELLULAR by Ellen Schwartz takes readers into the world of leukemia.  She describes the fear, the anger, and the agonizing treatment which are all part of the disease.  In just a little over 100 pages, readers will become one with Brendan and Lark as they experience the roller coaster ride of this potentially deadly condition.

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