Send Me a Sign

Send Me a Sign

4.6 17
by Tiffany Schmidt

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Mia Moore has spent her life searching for signs. A sign she'll fall in love. A sign she'll make it into a highly ranked university. A sign that the summer before senior year will be the best one ever. But when Mia is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, the only sign she wants to see is that she will survive cancer. Until she's better--meaning no

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Mia Moore has spent her life searching for signs. A sign she'll fall in love. A sign she'll make it into a highly ranked university. A sign that the summer before senior year will be the best one ever. But when Mia is diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia, the only sign she wants to see is that she will survive cancer. Until she's better--meaning no throwing up, no hospital stays, and definitely no wig--Mia doesn't want anyone to know she's sick. And she certainly doesn't want to feel more than friendship for the one person who does know what she's going through, her best friend, Gyver. But the sicker Mia gets, the more she realizes that not even the clearest signs offer perfect answers, and in order to discover what will happen in her life, she will have to find the courage to live it.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
First-time author Schmidt gracefully incorporates weighty subject matter—a teenager battling leukemia—into an inspirational yet unsentimental novel about love, trust, and hope. After receiving her diagnosis, popular cheerleader Mia Moore—who obsessively seeks out hidden symbols and signs to determine her decision-making—faces two problems: surviving chemotherapy and following her mother's suggestion to keep her illness secret. Mia has already explained her condition to her longtime neighbor and confidante, Gyver, but his unconditional support doesn't make it any easier to lie to her girlfriends and her new boyfriend, Ryan. Pretending nothing is wrong is as taxing as her cancer treatments, and when Mia finally confesses the truth to Ryan and the cheerleading squad, their reactions are not what she expects. The dramatic physical changes Mia undergoes are honestly addressed, yet they are less in the forefront than her emotional transformation. Schmidt's heroine believably vacillates between stoicism and indignation as she learns to rely less on superstitious signals to predict her future and more on herself, taking charge of the matters within her control. Ages 12–up. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
Teen Mia Moore has a history throughout her life of looking for signs. What sign could she possibly receive that will make the whirl of blood counts, hospitalizations, treatments, and explanations show there will be a future for her even in the face of an aggressive form of leukemia? She needs a sign to remain a top student and top cheerleader. The author confronts Mia's obstacles in her journey in a poignant way with love, hope, and grace. She shows how Mia keeps this diagnosis a secret even from her friends. Mia establishes her plan for this secret early in the story as she is leaving for a doctor's appointment to evaluate the bruised-like places on her skin. She counts the petals on a pink clematis flower beside the door of her home: One for sorrow, two for joy, three for a girl, four for a boy, five for silver, six for gold, seven for a secret never told.... The compelling sign she receives is given on the last page of the story, and she feels it is "the very best sign." Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
VOYA - Victoria Vogel
Mia is a thoughtful, smart, beautiful, and popular teenager who seems to have it all, except for one thing—her health. When bruises start to appear regularly all over her body she is eventually diagnosed with a form of leukemia. She has always been someone who looks for signs in things to tell her what lies ahead—whether it is song lyrics or her horoscope. Now everything in her life is so uncertain that she becomes obsessed with signs. Her best friend, Gyver, is her confidante, but she is not sure if they could be more. She is hesitant to share her secret with her fellow cheerleader friends, so she must endure her struggles with the help of only Gyver and her parents, who are having a hard time dealing with her diagnosis. When she loses her hair and becomes so thin people wonder if she is anorexic, she must endure whispers and speculation. This is Schmidt's first novel, and it is a noteworthy one. Mia does not wallow in sympathy. Her fear of the unknown is palpable and her relationship with Gyver is touching and honest. Her search for signs in a chaotic world is a familiar concept to many individuals. While not groundbreaking, this is a moving and inspirational novel that teen girls will love. Reviewer: Victoria Vogel
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—It's the summer after her junior year, and Mia Moore is all set to spend it with her three closest friends poolside. School break is barely underway when she finds out that she has leukemia, and most of her vacation is spent in the hospital undergoing intensive chemotherapy. Always superstitious, Mia is constantly looking for signs to help guide her life. One of her pals comments that she hates hospitals, and Mia interprets this as a sign to not tell her friends about her illness. Her mother, who is having trouble dealing with the diagnosis, agrees with her decision. The teen elects to only confide in her oldest childhood friend and neighbor, Gyver, who spends his summer caring for her. When senior year starts, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep her cancer a secret. In a weak moment, she tells handsome Ryan. Both he and Gyver vie for her affection and Mia, barely coping with her illness and mourning the loss of her female friends, finds her life slipping out of control. Her decision not to tell her friends is somewhat unbelievable, as is their inability to recognize that she is seriously ill. While not as nuanced-or witty-as other stories of teens with cancer, such as Wendy Wunder's Probability of Miracles (Razorbill, 2011) or John Green's The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012), Schmidt's debut is compelling; it has heartbreak and tragedy, but hope as well.—Ragan O'Malley, Saint Ann's School, Brooklyn, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A teen with cancer stresses out over all the wrong things. When Mia's diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, she tells childhood best friend and boy next door Gyver (yes, short for MacGyver) but not her kinda-boyfriend or her best girlfriends and fellow cheerleaders, the Calendar Girls (Mia is Summer). She invents an extended trip to visit ill grandparents as cover for her summer in the hospital and then does her best to fake it once school starts. Gyver's devotion—he rarely leaves her side all summer long—morphs into jealousy when Mia finally confesses the truth to Ryan, who proves himself pretty devoted, too, making for a very mildly suspenseful love triangle. When a novel's action consists of the protagonist's decision not to tell people she's dangerously ill (most of Mia's treatment is told, not shown), it needs to compensate for the lack of plot with something else—astonishing characterization or spectacular language, for instance. This debut does not. Characters are largely one-dimensional, even Mia. Her superstitious nature (see title) feels tacked-on, and although she tells readers at one point that she had been in the running for valedictorian before her illness, she mostly seems as vapid as her friends. Add lines like, "His blue eyes glowed from within the faint outline of his Oakley's tan line," and you have a book that arrives at its moment of truth far too late. The topic has been handled far better elsewhere. (Fiction. 13-16)

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Product Details

Walker & Company
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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