Archive for the ‘post-traumatic stress syndrome’ Category


Tough girl Ceejay wants to be bad like her older brother who is stationed in Iraq. She takes on anyone, verbally and physically, to prove her ferocity. Friends start reporting to her that they have seen Bobby in town, weeks before he is to be released from duty. Once Ceejay finds him, Bobby has begun to hang out with the local wacko who dodges through the battle zone of the nasty Nogo Gatu and the heroic Yimmies. Bobby makes other strange choices. Ceejay watches with unbelief as her brother and Captain Crazy come to terms with the horrors of war.

ENDERS’ Rating: ***

Tim’s Website

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Family tragedies can pile up on a person at dizzying speeds and Thomas Makee’s pile is suffocating him. He has dropped out of school, dropped his music and family, but hasn’t dropped his obsession with a former girlfriend, nor drugs. When he tumbled from a table and acquires 10 stitches, he starts part-time jobs in cubicle-ville and at a restaurant sink. Francesca, from Saving Francesca, works at the restaurant owned by a relative and practices her music in the back room. Tom and Ned, the cook, yell suggestions to her from the kitchen. Loved that! Back to the tragedies…they affect the entire family, sorrow dripping from the stories of Georgie, Tom, Dom and others. I was getting depressed. But humans do have the ability to choose their futures, and there is lots of right choices being made to shovel out of the misery. The family dynamics in this Italian (I am pretty sure) family are loud, argumentative and volatile.

Probably not the cheeriest review I have written, but I am hopeful for all the family! Lots of language, so best for older YA readers who can also wrap their minds around the heaviness of the plot. Well worth the read.

ENDERS’ Rating: ****

Melina’s Website


Boaz is home, but his brother Levi and their parents can hardly celebrate when he locks himself into his bedroom sketching on maps, searching on the internet, and screaming during the night. Not even his gorgeous high school sweetheart can break through the wall that Boaz has created. Ironically, the entire community sees him as the homecoming hero, a marine who kept America safe. Levi discovers Boaz’s plans, infiltrates and tries to make a connection with his brother. Boaz has created a unique plan to deal with his PTSS and with war’s horrors. I would strongly recommend it for a civics class discussion or for a summer reading program for seniors in high school.

ENDERS Rating: *****

Dana Reinhardt’s Website



I liked having a NY author share how the sorrow of three teens affected their perceptions of the world and their relationships. Claire, Jasper and Peter’s lives intertwine starting at a party the night prior to the twin towers attack on September 11, 2001, and gel a year later. I like the fact that Levithan shows how a traumatic experience of a city and of a nation affects individual lives. My favorite image of the book was the candle re-lighting, never letting a person’s light go out.

ENDERS’ Rating: Liked these characters!

David Levithan’s Website


This is probably the first novel where an object became a character for me. ROYAL, Victor’s antique typewriter picked up at a Vietnam vet’s garage sale, takes on a role in this delightful, delightful novel about writing, first love, caring for the earth, and PTSD. Victor and ROYAL go on a “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride” to his personal Walden, the landlocked cabin that his uncle built in the Vermont woods up from his home. Victor is a unique sixteen-year-old boy. He is a budding writer who has read that writing naked produces the best writing; also the most embarrassment. He looks up as he writes, naked of course, in the cabin and see a girl his age smiling at him. Victor also dresses fast. Rose Anna and he begin their own secluded writer’s workshop, he with ROYAL and she with an antique pen with a witch’s formula for ink. She and you read his writing, and he reads hers, but with no comments. Well, Victor tries to make no comments. Want a love story, a quirky story, an earth story all rolled into one? This is it!

ENDERS Rating: I laughed out loud, and want to find a red newt.

Peter Gould’s Blog



Comfort completes the story of Ann Fay’s fight wiht polio that began in the novel Blue. Her daddy is back from the war, and she hopes for the family to heal. But her daddy comes back with war neurosis and takes out his demons on his wife, Later, the younger daughter. The family goes to Georgia to their grandparents’ for Thanksgiving and they tour Warm Springs, founded by FDR. By January Ann Fay has moved to the rehabilitation center, but still worried about her family’s safety. What would make her return home? Is it her daddy? Junior with his car? Or has Ann Fay healed enough to make it?


ENDERS Rating: I want to read it again!

Joyce Moyer Hostetter’s Website