Behind These Hands

Behind These Hands

by Linda Vigen Phillips

NOOK Book(eBook)

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"a richly woven, unforgettable symphony of feelings and words" -Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Piano prodigy Claire Fairchild, 14, has always known music would be her life. So when she has the opportunity to enter a prestigious contest, she goes all in - until she realizes she's also competing against Juan, a close childhood friend and one of the most talented musicians she knows. It doesn't help that her thoughts about him are turning romantic.

"Juan on the flute,
me on the piano,
there can be

The thought of this
not being a good idea
gives me more butterflies
than the thought of
performing my own composition."

When Claire and her family receive a devastating blow from rare, always fatal Batten disease, her world enters a tailspin. Claire decides her musical goals no longer seem relevant.

"I can't do music anymore.
I don't want to do it anymore...

The bomb that just landed in
our living room threatens to blow up
in my face.

The silence is deafening,
the stunned looks are frozen."

She can't reconcile the joy that music would bring to her life while her brothers succumb to an early and ugly death. Her decision puts everything at risk: her friendship with Juan, her parents' expectations, and her own happiness.

"My hands aren't the same hands
as before.
Even my friends feel different."

After Claire accompanies a friend on a school newspaper assignment, she meets a centenarian with a surprising musical past and only one regret in life. Claire knows something in her life has to change before it's too late, but she's not sure she has the courage to take the next step.

Recommended for readers of Jason Reynolds, Kenzi Hart, Elizabeth Acevedo, Kwame Alexander, McCall Hoyle, and Julie Buxbaum.

"The stream-of-consciousness narrative allows readers to participate in Claire's internal struggles, deepening the psychological intensity of the story... This affecting portrait of a family in crisis will win hearts." (Anne O'Malley, Booklist)

"This is a compelling story in whose heroine other struggling teens might see themselves." (Foreword Reviews)

"Linda Vigen Phillips's lyrical language paints a vivid picture of a world colored by a crushing disease... You'll discover, along with Phillips's teenage heroine, how to face the prospect of losing someone you love and still face the day." (Laura King Edwards, author, speaker, and co-founder of Taylor's Tale, the world's leading charity focused on eradicating infantile Batten disease)

"A beautiful story! Lyrical and poignant.... You'll have a hard time putting down this novel in verse." (Skila Brown, Award winning author of Caminar)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611532586
Publisher: Light Messages Publishing
Publication date: 07/17/2018
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 300
File size: 1 MB
Age Range: 12 - 18 Years

About the Author

Linda Vigen Phillips finds passion in creating realistic fiction told in verse, to offer hope to teens and their families who face mental or physical health challenges. Her debut novel, Crazy, depicts the struggles of a teenage girl in the 1960's coming to terms with her mother's bipolar disorder. It earned numerous accolades, including Foreword Reviews lndieFab Book of the Year Finalist, the short-list for SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and an Honor book for the Paterson Prize for Books. Linda's writing has been praised as "beautiful" and "emotionally impactful" (School Library Journal); her brave storylines "resonate with teens" (Booklist) and "speak to many, many readers" (San Francisco Book Review).

Linda enjoys conducting writing workshops, spending time with her grandkids, and advocating for better mental health through her involvement with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). She lives in Charlotte, NC where she and her husband love to sit on the screened porch to watch the grass grow.

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Behind These Hands 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LitPick More than 1 year ago
Claire Fairchild loves playing the piano. It has always been a part of her life. When she enters a piano competition, she is as excited as can be – that is until she realizes her boyfriend, Juan, is competing against her. All at once, everything seems to fall apart. Claire and her family find out that her brother has been diagnosed with Batten disease, and it changes their lives. Will Claire find the will to move on, or will her life threaten to swallow her up? Opinion: I was very intrigued by this book as I have never read a novel in verse. When I began reading it, it took me a while to get into the feeling of it since it was such a different way of writing. But after the first ten pages or so, I really started to understand the author’s writing style. It was a very poetic read while also hard-hitting in all the right ways. I had never heard of Batten disease prior to reading this book. Now that I’ve read the book, I’m very interested to do some more research on the disease. The book did an excellent job sharing a first-hand account of what it’s like to live alongside the disease. The main character, Claire, reacted appropriately to the situations she was thrown into. At times, she felt a bit older than her age, but with Batten disease in her family I could understand why. I really loved the way the author wrote this book. Not just the poetic feel to it but the way the words seemed to flow off the pages. I felt as if I were right there alongside Claire, experiencing her life as I read. The book deals with heavy themes, so I recommend it for a more mature reader. Other than that, Behind These Hands is an incredible read that I highly recommend. Reviewed by a LitPick Student Book Reviewer Age 19