Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

There are few books that I think really change a person's viewpoint on important subject matters. The Impossible Knife of Memory helped me understand, in a very intimate way, what some veteran's go through when they come home.   

Halley lives with her father who is a veteran suffering from PTSD. She has no one she can rely on. She and her father have never lived in one place for long until they move back to her father's hometown .

Halley must live with her father's drinking, drug-taking, and rages. She truly must take care of him.

In school for the first time in a long time, Halley faces the pressures of being a senior in high school. Her guidance counselor wants her to take the SAT's and begin planning for college. But Halley knows she can't leave. Who would take care of her father?

Girls will love this book because in many ways Halley is a typical girl. She falls in love with Finn and rekindles a childhood friendship with Gracie who has problems of her own. But I think boys will also enjoy this book. Anyone who has had someone they know serve in the armed forces, or has read or seen PTSD in the news, should read this book. In many ways this was a heart-breaking book - but I am so happy I read it. Because of the mature subject matter, I would recommend this to grade 8 and up.

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