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Author: Silverstein, Karol Ruth
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Year Published: 2019
ISBN: 9781580899406
Grades: Grades 7 to 12

Cursed

Reviewed by:

Debut author and screenwriter Karol Ruth Silverstein pens an empowering and emotionally-charged novel about a teen with juvenile arthritis, based on her own experienc as a thirteen-year-old with a chronic illness. Ricky Bloom has been bombarded with too many changes in her life – her sister’s move away to college, her parent’s contentious divorce, changing homes and schools, and especially her recently diagnosed painful and debilitating disease. Afraid, angry, resentful, bullied and feeling alone, Ricky tries to cope by skipping school and using sarcasm and profanity to deal with her misplaced anger. With the help of her quirky classmate Oliver, a concerned mentoring teacher Mr. Jenkins, and her supportive family, she learns to navigate tricky social situations at school and with her family instead of cursing at the unfairness of everything on her difficult journey to live with her chronic illness. This sassy and funny narrator navigates the uncertainty and struggles of life, learning to cope, to hope, to discover, to advocate for herself medically, and to lift her voice in service to a friend in this hopeful novel. Mature middle and high school students will relate to the personal and family challenges, and school stresses of the captivating characters in this remarkably realistic story.

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