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From the Hardcover edition.
Posted November 19, 2008
THE YEAR OF MY MIRACULOUS REAPPEARANCE by Catherine Ryan Hyde (also the author of the well-known PAY IT FORWARD) truly illustrates the life of a young teen and her struggle with an alcoholic parent and the ripple-effect of alcoholism. <BR/><BR/>Cynnie is used to taking care of herself. Not only herself, but also her little brother, Bill, and let's face it, she takes care of her mother, too. Normal life for Cynnie involves cleaning up after her alcoholic mother, making sure one of her many cigarettes doesn't set their house on fire, and tending to her little brother who has Downs Syndrome. Life isn't easy, but it works for Cynnie. Cynnie's only escape is the tree house one of her mother's many passing boyfriends helped her build. <BR/><BR/>Until one day when her grandparents show up and announce that Bill will be living with them. Bill is Cynnie's only reason for living. When he leaves, she discovers the power of alcohol to erase her pain. She becomes her mother - stumbling through the day under the influence and waking the next day to do it all over again. <BR/><BR/>Even through her drunken haze, Cynnie knows her only hope lies in getting Bill back into her life. She convinces her friend Snake, a victim of his own father's abuse, to help her rescue Bill so they can all escape to a better life. Unfortunately, their plan collapses when Cynnnie wrecks the car. Everyone recovers from their injuries, but Bill ends up back with their grandparents, and Cynnie finds herself on probation and back home with her drunken mother. <BR/><BR/>Part of Cynnie's court-ordered punishment includes mandatory attendance at AA meetings. The meetings are at first intimidating, but as Cynnie finally discovers through the help of her sponsor, they offer her a way to push her life in a positive direction. Her goal to eventually reunite with her brother gives Cynnie the determination to overcome her fears. <BR/><BR/>Hyde takes readers on a roller-coaster ride of emotions as Cynnie battles her mother, her grandparents, and her own personal demons. As in real life, nothing is easy and relapses make life seem hopeless at times. Cynnie's story is straightforward and inspirational.
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Posted March 18, 2009
Thirteen-year-old Cynnie can take care of herself, which is a good thing since her mom is usually drunk and often passed out on the couch. Cynnie can take care of her three-year-old brother, Bill, too. Bill has Down Syndrome, and Cynnie knows he loves her because her name is the only word he can say. But when Cynnie's mom, Rita, asks her parents to come and take Bill, life starts to spiral out of control for Cynnie. Even though she has vowed that she would never be like her mother, without Bill keeping her grounded she starts to drink as well. Her choices lead to trouble in school and in the courts. Can she find a way to work herself out of her troubles and into a future with greater possibilities?
The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance by Catherine Ryan Hyde is a touching story that takes the reader inside the life of addiction from the unusual perspective of a teen girl. It shows how addiction affects everyone in a family, but it also shows what it takes to work your way out of the downward spiral, one step at a time. Cynnie is vulnerable, courageous, tenacious, and resourceful. From the outside, she looks and acts like many teens, while she hides her reality from friends and teachers. The choices she makes, and their consequences, should provide great discussion for a mother-daughter book club with girls in middle school and older.
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Posted January 1, 2009
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Posted January 11, 2013
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