Probably Still Nick Swansen

( 2 )

Overview

Nick Swansen pretty much knows what it means to be Special Ed.: You can't drive, even if you're sixteen and your parents have two cars; the regular kids in school don't talk to you much; and even if you can memorize every fact about amphibians, it's hard to make sense of all the other stuff swirling in your mind. What he doesn't know is whether being Special Ed. means you shouldn't go to the prom. But since no rule says you can't, Nick decides to ask Shana.

But the prom doesn't ...

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Overview

Nick Swansen pretty much knows what it means to be Special Ed.: You can't drive, even if you're sixteen and your parents have two cars; the regular kids in school don't talk to you much; and even if you can memorize every fact about amphibians, it's hard to make sense of all the other stuff swirling in your mind. What he doesn't know is whether being Special Ed. means you shouldn't go to the prom. But since no rule says you can't, Nick decides to ask Shana.

But the prom doesn't turn out at all the way Nick expects it to, and everything bad seems to get all mixed up together: the prom, what Shana does, and the terrible thing that happened to Nick's sister nine years ago. Nick doesn't want to think about any of it, but he begins to realize that unless he makes peace with all the memories that trouble him, they will haunt him forever....

Sixteen-year-old learning-disabled Nick struggles to endure a life in which the other kids make fun of him, he has to take special classes, his date for the prom makes an excuse not to go with him, and he is haunted by the memory of his older sister who drowned while he was watching.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A boy asks a former Special Ed classmate to the prom, and is bewildered when she backs out. Ages 12-up. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-10 A strong, compassionate story about a student with minimal brain dysfunction. While all 16 year olds have problems, Nick Swansen's are unique: they involve his identity outside the Special Education classroom and coming to terms with the accidental death of his sister, Dianne, seven years earlier. Told from his viewpoint, the story follows the events of several seminal weeks in Nick's maturing. Readers come to identify strongly with him and with Shana, another Special Ed. student who has ``gone up'' to the regular classes. The parents of both students provide a revealing contrast: Nick's are warm and understanding, Shana's stumbling and confused. The brilliance in Wolff's book is that she never preaches: rather, through a series of involving events and through characterizations that are consistently sympathetic, she draws readers into Nick's life. Unlike many books that deal with disabilities, Wolff's story stresses the similarities between Nick and other teens rather than highlighting the differences. Constance A. Mellon, Department of Library & Information Studies, East Carolina Univ., Greenville, N.C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689852268
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Edition description: First Simon Pulse Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 511,324
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 0.38 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    Great Book

    This book shows the emotional confusion of a teenager in speacial ed trying to deal with real life situations with parents, dates, and having to face his school. This book shows a teenage boy trying to understand his feelings and work through them.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2003

    An Excellent Must Read Book

    In this heart warming story about 16 year-old Special Ed Nick, he learns how to deal with his feeling. After being stood up at prom and dealing with his sister's death that happened 9 years ago, he realizes he must deal with his feelings.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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