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See Ya, Simon

See Ya, Simon

by David Hill

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Hill's first YA novel, set in the author's native New Zealand, chronicles 14-year-old Nathan's turmoil as he watches best friend Simon deteriorate from muscular dystrophy. Popular and fun-loving, Simon won't tolerate pity in himself or others. Yet he's aware that death is imminent--a fact he openly shares with his classmates. Nathan reciprocates Simon's courage and candor: even as he inwardly agonizes over signs of Simon's progressive weakening, he helps boost Simon's morale with cheerful, tough banter. Hill is particularly adept at demonstrating how his characters use humor in coping with Simon's disease and in preserving Simon's self-respect; his is a noble counterpart to weepy melodramas about dying teens. The novel falters in places--the antagonism between Nathan and his sister is overdone, and Nathan's romantic interest in a classmate is handled in almost painfully obvious fashion--but in the end it is a glowing and memorable tribute to a stalwart, life-affirming friendship. Ages 10-14. (June)
School Library Journal
Gr 6-8-A sensitively written story of friendship and an informative examination of the experience of a young person afflicted with muscular dystrophy. Nathan, a compassionate 14-year-old, relates how, through his friendship with Simon, he develops an appreciation for life that too often eludes teenagers. A sharp sense of humor underlies each boy's character, which intensifies the honesty of their relationship. Simon's words and actions spotlight the psychological problems faced by the disabled as he explains that he wants to be seen as a human being, not as someone to be avoided or pitied. He is an intelligent boy who is basically well adjusted to his situation. He participates in school as fully as his abilities allow. From the outset, it is clear that he will die during his adolescence, but the author avoids a maudlin tone, thus adding to the book's power. In this excellent novel peopled with multidimensional characters, Hill gives readers a look at this disabling and fatal disease. Booktalk this winner with Jan Slepian's Lester's Turn (Macmillan, 1981; o.p.) and Anne Knowles's Under the Shadow (HarperCollins, 1983).- Renee Steinberg, Fieldstone Middle School, Montvale, NJ

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.06(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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