Cellularby Ellen Schwartz
Brendan has it all-captain of the basketball team, good friends, a beautiful girlfriend and a loving familyuntil he is diagnosed with leukemia. Terrified and convinced that no one understands what he is going through, Brendan faces chemotherapy alone, until he meets Lark. She is also in treatment, although her condition is much worse, and yet she remains
Brendan has it all-captain of the basketball team, good friends, a beautiful girlfriend and a loving familyuntil he is diagnosed with leukemia. Terrified and convinced that no one understands what he is going through, Brendan faces chemotherapy alone, until he meets Lark. She is also in treatment, although her condition is much worse, and yet she remains positive and hopeful. Brendan is torn between feeling sorry for himself and the love for life that Lark brings to even the simplest thing. Through Lark, he discovers the strength to go on, to fight for survival and to love.
Read an Excerpt
"I'm afraid I have bad news, Brendan. It's leukemia."
It goes right by me. I don't even hear it. I'm so prepared to hear anything else—a virus, mono, meningitis, even avian flu—that it's only when my mom gasps that my mind backs up, rewinds the tape, and I actually hear what he just said.
I'm going to die.
It can't be.
It must be someone else.
Will it hurt?
Leukemia is for pathetic-looking bald kids with big eyes. Leukemia is for wasted bodies lying in hospital beds. Not me.
Is there treatment? Is there a cure?
I'm going to die.
Meet the Author
Ellen Schwartz is the author of fourteen books for children and one adult nonfiction book. In addition to writing books,
she has published dozens of magazine articles and adult short stories, and her stories for children have been published in children's magazines and teaching anthologies. Ellen, whose background is in education, currently works as a corporate and curriculum writer and editor, and teaches creative writing classes at Simon Fraser University and Douglas College. Ellen has two daughters and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
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Life is good for Brendan. His basketball team is headed for the championship. He's planning on a basketball scholarship for college and maybe even a chance at a professional career. He has a hot girlfriend and a ton of friends. It's the perfect life - until Brendan starts feeling like crap. He has no energy and it's beginning to show in his game. Instead of being a star player, he finds himself riding the bench and trying to avoid angry glares from Coach. It has gotten so bad that when his mother again suggests a visit to the doctor, Brendan agrees. Leukemia! You've got to be kidding. Brendan is shocked by the diagnosis. Before he knows it, he's in the hospital undergoing tests that will determine the severity of his illness and how much chemotherapy he will need. Brendan's family is extremely supportive, but when he learns the extent of his treatment and the fact that he will miss the rest of the basketball season and probably not graduate with his friends, his anger explodes. He knows he is being a jerk, but the nausea from the chemo and the pitying looks from family and friends are more than he can take. Life simply can't get any worse. Then Brenda meets Lark. She's gone through what he is suffering twice, and now she's waiting for a bone marrow transplant, which means she's reached the last resort level of treatment. Still, Lark remains positive, and she shares her upbeat attitude with Brendan. He can't believe her amazing outlook despite her very disturbing prognosis. Brendan begins to rely on Lark, and together they become each other's support team. CELLULAR by Ellen Schwartz takes readers into the world of leukemia. She describes the fear, the anger, and the agonizing treatments which are all part of the disease. In just a little over 100 pages, readers will become one with Brendan and Lark as they experience the roller coaster ride of this potentially deadly condition.