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Waiting to Disappear Hardcover – Bargain Price, September 1, 2002

5.0 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, September 1, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the small Southern town of Moodus in 1960, first novelist Fritz's tender but scattered story centers on Buddy, who, on the brink of high school, watches her mother suffer a nervous breakdown and check herself into a hospital. Her mother had always had "spells," but since the death of Buddy's brother two years ago, "she was disappearing from the inside out like a thousand-year-old egg." Narrator Buddy's strong voice make her emotions easy to relate to: she's mad at her mother, but desperately wants her to come home, and she's afraid to tell her stylish best friend, Ginger ("I wasn't prepared to lose my friend. I feared she'd think Mama was crazy and look for signs of it in me"). Some of the plotting, such as the mother's all-patient production of Oklahoma! or Buddy's chance encounter with a boy she has a crush on, seem wedged into the plot, and a few of the conflicts wrap up suddenly (like Ginger's acceptance of Buddy's poor friend). But Buddy's winning personality and her imperfect circle of support, including her wild aunt Sherry and her pharmacist father, add warmth to this story of a teen who must learn to cope with her mother's illness and, ultimately, herself. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9-In the summer before she begins high school, Buddy Mullens's life takes another turn for the worse. Two years earlier, her beloved older brother, Booth, perished in a car crash. Now her mother has had a nervous breakdown and has hospitalized herself, and the 13-year-old worries that her friends will ostracize her because of her mother's illness and wonders if it is contagious and/or hereditary. Set during the 1950s in a small town, the story follows Buddy as she struggles to keep her family together and racks her brain for ways to help make her mother well and bring her home. Her Aunt Sherry, barely out of her teens, serves as a breath of fresh air in the girl's life. In addition to her family problems, Buddy faces changes in her relations with her friends, boy-crazy Ginger and Verna, who must care for her younger siblings because her mother has polio. Buddy is a character who will linger in readers' minds. Her growth during the course of the novel is believable and the lessons that she learns about family and friends and being true to oneself are timeless. Fritz has crafted a novel that is reminiscent of the work of Kimberly Willis Holt and Betsy Byars.
Linda B. Zeilstra, Skokie Public Library, IL
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion; First Edition edition (September 1, 2002)
  • ISBN-10: 0786807903
  • ASIN: B000IOEVX0
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.9 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,918,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on October 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I love an author who can handle "angst" humorously. All the characters in Waiting to Disappear are the kind of people who live across the street or who you meet at the grocery store...real, interesting people. Buddy's determination to get her mom home is so palpable and I found myself rooting for her to succeed, even though I knew it wasn't likely. This book doesn't end with everyone living happily ever after, but there's a lot of hope here. I can't wait to read April Fritz's next book!
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Format: Paperback
I picked this up as a bargain for my 12-year-old, then finished it myself that day. While some characters fall into stock categories (looks and popularity-obsessed pretty girl, scruffy tomboy, burdened-but-valiant poor girl), they are well-drawn enough to come fully to life and even present a few surprises. The adults are similarly nuanced, flawed but appealing. The special beauty of the story is its realistic and sympathetic handling of the mother's mental illness: the roots of it, the paths to healing, the reactions of family, especially the 13-year-old main character's. Little touches, too, keep this far from formula, such as the father of the poor girl, who in other books would turn out to be an abuser, but here proves to be neither noble nor savage. A tiny quibble: in 1960, no one wore white lipstick (try mid-to-late 60s) or used Dippity-Do (invented in 1965)--nitpicking, I know, but annoying--and there are a couple of other anachronistic details. Here and there, plot twists feel a bit facile. Overall, though, the strengths more than compensate for the few, minor weakensses. An honest, gentle, moving and uplifting book, with a big heart and a family of individuals you grow to love and are sorry to leave.
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By A Customer on January 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Every once in a while a book comes along that your have to take the time to recommend to other readers, and this is one of them. The book is set in 1960 in a small southern town, and isn't about social issues, but rather about a trumatic experience in a young girl's life as she is preparing to enter highschool. The above editorial review covers the reasons behind her mother's breakdown, so I wont recap them, but I want to comment on the characters in the story. Buddy - is a rare jewel of a person, who is very open and honest and wise beyond her years. She alternately combines sorrow, confusion and humor without overdoing any and is totally believeable in all aspects. I was captivated by her 22 year old Aunt Sherry, who held the family together in more ways than one. The rest of the family and friends rounded out the story, but Buddy, her mom, and Sherry were what made it one of the best reads I have had in a long time.
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Format: Hardcover
Buddy is looking forward to a wonderful summer before she begins high school, but family problems are keeping her from fun. Her older brother, killed two years earlier, still haunts her mother's memory and just before the big summer picnic, her mother suffers a breakdown and enters a rest place for those with emotional problems. Determined to get her mother back from 'that place', Buddy embarks on a campaign which will change her family's life in Waiting To Disappear, a warm story of a family adjusting to emotional upset.
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