Monday, November 7, 2016

Rice, Luanne. The Secret Language of Sisters.

Rice, Luanne.  The Secret Language of Sisters.  Scholastic Press/Point  2016  336p  $18.99  ISBN 978-0-545-83955-6      ms/hs  Realistic fiction        VG 

High-school junior Roo stops to take a few photographs on the way to pick up her impatient younger sister, Tilly, photography being her passion. Shortly after that, Roo has a near-fatal accident as she texts her sister that she is a few minutes away. In the hospital, Roo has a stroke and the doctors believe she is in a coma. Tilly eventually figures out that her sister is able to communicate through eye movements, leading to a diagnosis of locked-in syndrome. Roo is paralyzed but can hear and see. She is transferred to a Boston hospital where a young English doctor creates a computer program that allows her to communicate and continue with her photography. As Roo faces a new future that is not what she imagined it would be at an Ivy League university, her family struggles to adjust as well. Roo and her boyfriend Newton deal with their already fragile relationship, and Tilly finds herself suddenly drawn to Newton in a romantic way. Isabel, Roo’s best friend, shares the news with Tilly that it was her text that Roo was responding to when she crashed. Once this news comes to light, Tilly is frequently blamed, by herself and others, because she shouldn’t have been texting someone she knew was driving. She is only told a few times that the responsibility was Roo’s to avoid texting while driving. The story has a relatively happy ending and is a good addition to a collection to reinforce the “don’t text and drive” mantra.  

Summary: High-school junior Roo nearly dies in a car accident while on her way to pick up her young sister as she texts her that she is nearly there.    

Sisters-Fiction, Automobile accidents-Fiction                                                                     –Stephanie Pennucci

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