by Robin Merrow MacCready
Publishing Information: Dutton Books: New York, 2006
Pages: 224 p.
Ages: 13 & Up
Claudine obsesses over every detail of her life but, when her alcoholic mother disappears, Claudine begins to lose her struggle to maintain control.
When you have problems, do you tell your friends at school? All your problems? The serious problems? People often keep their deepest, darkest troubles hidden. Some facts are just to hard to face.
Claude is a senior in high school. She is under a lot of stress. She just has to submit that scholarship application on time. She has to sit down and write the essay. She has to help her friend pass. Her mother, an alcoholic, has disappeared again, leaving the house a mess. Claude cleans and rearranges everything to impose order on the chaos of her life. She works and works and works, obsessively, compulsively. She uses hundreds of Post-it! Notes to help her remember all she must do. But, in spite of all her effort to maintain control, everything unravels because she keeps the very worst darkest truth buried, hidden deep within herself.
|Subject Headings & Major Themes:
Mothers and Daughters
Awards & Reviews:
Edgar Allen Poe Award, 2007
YALSA Best Books for Young Adult, 2008
Booklist, October 1, 2006, p. 49
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, October 1, 2006
Horn Book, Spring 2007
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2007
School Library Journal, November 1, 2006, p. 141
Discussion Questions and Ideas:
- If you were in Claude’s place, becoming completely overwhelmed, would you tell someone? Whom would you tell? Why doesn’t Claude tell someone?
- Cleaning the house, Claude tries repeatedly to remove a stain that just won’t go away. What does it represent? What is it?
- How early in the book can a reader begin to sort things out and begin to suspect what the truth is? What clues does the author drop along the way?
Author's Website: http://www.robinmerrowmaccready.com
Massachusetts General Hospital: Obsessive Compuslve Disorder: http://www.massgeneral.org/schoolpsychiatry/info_ocd.asp
TeensHealth: Coping with an Alcoholic Parent: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/families/copic_alcoholic.html
TeensHealth: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder: http://kidshealth.org/teen/your_mind/mental_health/odc.html
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About the Author:
Robin Merrow MacCready grewe up in a family that loved the creative arts and definitely enjoyed reading. While the house was often messy, a lot of the clutter was due to reading materials scattered all around.
Robin started writing when she was young. First she wrote short stories, but then progressed into "melodramatic sagas" when she was a teenager. She used daydreaming to practive her creativity.
She lives in Maine, where she lives with her husband, two boys, and her dog Roxy. She also teaches reading and writing to upper elementary school children.