Lefty Carmichael Has a Fit

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Deftly balancing humor with grim realism, Trembath (The Tuesday Caf ; A Fly Named Alfred) expresses how 15-year-old Lefty, his family and the colorful residents of their low-income neighborhood react when Lefty is diagnosed with epilepsy. Lefty, who narrates the novel, finds it challenging to return to a "normal" life after being hospitalized for a seizure. His mother's clique of gossipy friends eagerly discuss his ailment at great length, interjecting stories about their own bouts with illness, while at school rumors about Lefty's "fits" spread like wildfire. Penny, Lefty's "girlfriend, sort of," seems suddenly reluctant to spend time with him alone. His ability to cope with his new life grows along with the realization that, despite his traumatic changes, certain things in his world remain constant--the endless chatter of neighbor women, support from his family, his English teacher's compassionate heart and the loyalty of Rueben, his oldest and best friend. The strength of the author's writing lies in his precise, entertaining depiction of characters and their chorus of lively dialogue. Ages 12-16. (Jan.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Fifteen-year-old Lefty Carmichael is a pretty ordinary teenager. The only unusual thing about him is his name; he is probably the only right-handed person alive named "Lefty." Still, life isn't too bad. Until the seizures hit. Lefty doesn't remember them--but he's heard about them and doesn't like what he hears. His best friend Rueben is certain Lefty is dead when the first seizure happens. His tough-as-nails mom faints from the sight. His almost-girlfriend Penny doesn't want to be alone with him anymore. Lefty had better get used to it. He has been diagnosed with epilepsy, and the seizures will be a lifelong threat. Though the topic is a serious one, the book is humorous. Don Trembath has created a thoroughly memorable cast of characters, from Lefty and his folks to the neighborhood gossips and teens, in this interesting look at life and adversity. 1999, Orca, Ages 14 to 18, $6.95. Reviewer: Heidi Green
ALAN Review
Fifteen-year-old Lefty Carmichael awakens in a hospital only to discover he has epilepsy. Like many with a serious illness, Lefty must deal with fear, the honest reactions of family and friends, and how to control and live with his new problem. Passing through these stages proves to be difficult, but Lefty receives support from his family, girlfriend, and best friend, Rueben. Turning to his first passion, Lefty channels his raw feelings of hurt and rejection into perceptively written poems. By the book's end, Lefty transforms himself from a frightened teenager to a self-sufficient young adult. This is a humorous book, filled with many eccentric characters and genuine compassion for an often-overlooked disease, epilepsy. The title of this book does not do justice to the seriousness of the topic and the author's sincere attempt to heighten awareness about dealing with epilepsy. Genre: Disabilities/Epilepsy. 1999, Orca Book Publishers, Ages 12 up, $6.95. Reviewer: Lisa Spiegel
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780613292771
  • Publisher: San Val, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 1/28/2000

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