"My hands aren't the same hands as before. Even my friends feel different." 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. When Claire and her family receive a devastating blow from Batten disease, her world enters a tailspin. Claire decides her musical goals no longer seem relevant. 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. After Claire accompanies a friend on a school newspaper assignment, she meets a centenarian with a unique 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.
|Publisher:||Light Messages Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.40(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)|
|Age Range:||12 - 18 Years|
About the Author
Linda Vigen Phillips' passion is creating realistic fiction that offers hope to teens and their families who face mental or physical health challenges. Her debut book, Crazy, depicts the struggles of a teenage girl in the 1960' s coming to terms with her mother's bipolar disorder. It earned such accolades in 2015 as lndieFab Book of the Year Finalist, short-list for SCBWI Crystal Kite Award, and Honor book for Paterson Prize for Books. Like Crazy, Heart Behind These Hands is a Young Adult verse novel. When her brothers are diagnosed with Batten Disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder that will bring early death, piano-prodigy Clair must decide how to deal with the ticking clock, her own dreams, and the need for a celebration of life. Linda enjoys advocating for better mental health through her involvement with National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI}, conducting writing workshops, and spending time with her grandkids. She lives in Charlotte, NC where she and her husband love to sit on the screened porch to watch the grass grow.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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