Burdened with the pressure of believing she is responsible for her brother's illness, 15-year-old Callie begins a course of self-destruction that leads to her being admitted to Sea Pines, a psychiatric hospital the "guests" refer to as Sick Minds. Although initially she refuses to speak, her individual and group therapy sessions trigger memories and insights. Slowly, she begins emerging from her miserable silence, ultimately understanding the role her dysfunctional family played in her brother's health crisis.
Patricia McCormick's first novel is authentic and deeply moving. Callie suffers from a less familiar teen problem--she cuts herself to relieve her inner frustrations and guilt. The hope and hard-won progress that comes at the conclusion of the novel is believable and heartening for any teen reader who feels alone in her (or his) angst. Along with Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak and E.L. Konigsburg's Silent to the Bone, McCormick's Cut expertly tackles an unusual response to harrowing adolescent trouble. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
In this adaptation of McCormick's debut novel, Lewis (TV's Ellen) imbues her reading with the cynicism and pain of the book's troubled 15-year-old protagonist, Callie. Callie faces some difficult emotional hurdles as a "guest" at the residential treatment center where she has been sent because she cuts herself with sharp objects. In a flat, unaffected tone, befitting someone unhappy with her situation, Lewis's Callie explains the daily routines and schedules at Sea Pines, the facility dubbed "Sick Minds" by Callie's roommate. Though she doesn't speak to her fellow guests, or even her doctors at first, listeners are always privy to Callie's feelings and her impressions of her surroundings, be it what the anorexic guests don't eat or how the substance abuse guests cope. Details of her stressful, dysfunctional home life trickle out along the way; it's at these points that Lewis's vulnerable voice invites listeners to feel compassion for Callie. As Callie makes breakthroughs with her therapists and comes to better understand her behavior and its causes, Lewis meets the challenge of tearful scenes. Lewis never sounds phony, though, and conveys the hope in McCormick's ending, which suggests Callie's eventual recovery. Ages 12-up.
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