Ellen's Case

Ellen's Case

3.0 2
by Lois Metzger

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 6-10-In Barry's Sister (Atheneum, 1992), Ellen Gray secretly wished that the unborn ``Gray baby'' might disappear, and struggled to free herself from the belief that her wish caused his disability. In this sequel, a trial is scheduled to consider medical malpractice charges-four-year-old Barry's cerebral palsy might have been the result of a birth trauma. When attorney Jack Frazier visits her mother, Loretta, to discuss procedures, Ellen is attracted to him and decides that she, too, will be part of the courtroom cast. The detailed proceedings are the heartbeat of the story. From Loretta's courageous testimony to the jury's somber proclamation, the plot accelerates through the courtroom scenes. It is during a private visit with the judge that Ellen finally learns that the trial is for her protection and Barry's care when their parents are no longer able to care for him. Metzger once again demonstrates exceptional skill at building and then peeling back the intricate layers of her characters. Their thoughts, emotions, and actions are solidly consistent throughout. Ellen's imagined romance with Jack Frazier adds interest, as does the promise of a future friendship with a young man who also has CP. An understanding of CP is also introduced, not by way of a lecture, but through the sensitive portrayal of family members who love, accept, and value one another.-Sarabeth Kalajian, Venice Public Library, FL
Hazel Rochman
In Metzger's "Barry's Sister" (1992), Ellen swings between anger, guilt, and devouring love for her little brother, who was born with ataxic cerebral palsy. In this sequel much of that conflict seems to be over. At 16, Ellen loves Barry unconditionally and feels responsible for him. But she relives the trauma of his birth and confronts the sorrow of his future during a malpractice suit in civil court. Did the doctor mess up Barry's birth? Who is responsible? How much does Barry need for lifelong care? What will the jury think? Ellen develops a crush on the passionate, clever malpractice lawyer, and she finds herself stirred and shaken by the intensity of the three-week-long trial. Her parents and friends seem too wise, strong, and therapeutic to be true, but the lawyer is more interesting (is he manipulating her?), and so is the awkward, angry boy who has a crush on "her". The trial is the core of the story, and it is riveting: the confrontation between prosecutor and defense, the public faces of judge and jurors, the strain of testifying, the medical information, the surprise, the tension. It makes you wonder why there aren't more YA books about the human drama of the courtroom.

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Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st ed
Product dimensions:
5.85(w) x 8.58(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
12 Years

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