Thursday, June 17, 2010


McCormick, Patricia. Cut. Push, 2002 (c2000). 151 p. PBK $7.99 ISBN 0439324599

SUMMARY: "While confined to a mental hospital, thirteen-year-old Callie slowly comes to understand some of the reasons behind her self-mutilation, and gradually starts to get better."

RISKS: trigger cutting and self-harming behavior

EVALUATION: McCormick uses just the right details, doesn't overdo it on the description, and develops an authentic protagonist - a tricky thing when the character is silent for most of the novel, in addition to dealing with emotional problems and behavior issues at a "residential treatment facility." Not only did McCormick do extensive research for this book, but she is also emotionally capable as a writer. She truthfully and gently handles the pain in each of her characters, and creates an intimate world full of both harshness and tenderness where readers can hopefully come to understand a little better some of the difficulties many young people face.

TOPICS: self-injury; cutting; eating disorders; substance abuse; emotional problems; mental health; psychiatric hospitals; family problems; sibling relationships; psychological trauma

AWARDS: Arizona: Grand Canyon Reader Award Nominees, 2005; Illinois: Lincoln Award Nominees, 2005; Texas: Tayshas Reading List, 2004; South Carolina: YA Book Award Nominees, 2003; ALA Best Books for Young Adults, 2002; Kentucky: Bluegrass Award Nominees, 2002; ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2001

Ages 12 & up

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