Saturday, May 7, 2016

SKYSCRAPING by Cordelia Jensen

A big thank you to for a copy of this book.  My students and I have truly enjoyed it.

It's 1993 and Mira is about to experience a roller coaster of a senior year.  No doubt headed for a great college and a promising future, Mira is editor of the yearbook and respected by her peers.  Living in New York City means there's never a dull moment.

Everything in Mira's life begins to unravel the day she comes home to discover her father in bed with another man.  When her parents sit down with Mira and her younger sister April, they explain that they have had an open marriage for years.  Interpreting her parents' relationship as a sham, Mira begins to rebel.  If they can live what she perceives as a dishonest life, why should she have to follow the rules?

Mira turns to risky behavior and neglects many of her responsibilities.  She is kicked off the yearbook staff and her grades drop.  Wanting nothing more than to escape the city and her family, she insists on visiting small colleges in tiny towns instead of following the wishes and dreams she previously shared with her father.

Mira's world threatens to collapse completely when her father announces that he is HIV positive.  His health begins to deteriorate and as 1994 begins he is diagnosed with full-blown AIDS.  Soon after, his doctor gives him one month to live.  As reality sinks in, Mira understands exactly what she has to lose.  Feelings of anger turn into a desperation to make every moment count.

Author Cordelia Jensen explores the emotions and passions of a family facing an uncertain future.  This novel written in verse will pull readers into the lives of Mira's family and won't let go.  Fear, frustration, and finding meaning in what fate presents combine to make this one powerful read.

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