release date: Sep 09, 2003
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Hero of Lesser Causes
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When 12-year-old Keely's brother Patrick catches polio from a public swimming pool, her world shatters. Patrick--one year older, daring and talented--has always been Keely's hero. But Patrick is changed. Paralyzed from head to foot, he's lost the will to live and spends his days staring at the ceiling or screaming obscenities at his family. Now it's Keely's turn to be a hero and rescue Patrick from himself.

In Hero of Lesser Causes, her critically acclaimed first novel for young adults, Julie Johnston explores the devastating effects of polio. Set in a sleepy Ottawa Valley town, this touching period novel opens on the fateful day in the "hot summer of 1946" when Patrick gets sick, and picks up its story six months later when he returns home from the sanitorium. Keely, Johnston's spirited if occasionally too clever-sounding narrator, tries everything imaginable to draw Patrick out of his suicidal melancholy. She drags old and new friends into his bedroom, engages Patrick's help in a cockeyed scheme to locate Nurse Peggy's long-lost soldier love, and babbles away incessantly--all to no avail. Patrick remains encased in gloom until a nearly tragic overdose reveals what he would miss by dying. As he explains to Keely, "You'd keep on going.... And I'd stop. Like a broken movie film. Only they wouldn't turn on the lights and splice the film and start her up again. I'd be left ... in the dark." Moving, eloquent, and funny, Hero of Lesser Causes is a splendid introduction to the author of such award-winning novels as Adam and Eve and Pinch-Me and The Only Outcast. (Ages 10 to 14) --Lisa Alward

Product details
Sales rank416522
ManufacturerTundra Books
List price$12.99

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