readergirlz is a literacy and social media project for teens, awarded the National Book Foundation's Innovations in Reading Prize. The rgz blog serves as a depot for news and YA reviews from industry professionals and teens. As volunteers return full force to their own YA writing, the organization continues to hold one initiative a year to impact teen literacy. All are welcome to "like" us on Facebook!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Featured Title: HARMONIC FEEDBACK, by Tara Kelly

Hello and Happy Monday, readergirlz! 
Today, we're featuring Tara Kelly's pitch-perfect (pun fully intended) Harmonic Feedback

"Since early childhood, Drea has received diagnoses that vary from ADHD to mild Asperger's syndrome. “All I know is I make sense to me—it's other people who seem complicated,” she says. Yet after she and her single mom move from San Francisco to Bellingham, Washington, to live with Drea's cranky grandmother, Drea, a talented musician and aspiring “sound designer” who “had never even felt what could be considered a crush,” forms a band with wild, purple-haired Naomi and fellow new kid Justin, with whom she begins her first romance. Without overexplanation, debut novelist Kelly offers readers a strong, authentic sense of Drea's inner life and daily struggles."

I loved this book, and how authentically and sensitively Drea's character is portrayed. Despite her "condition" (which is never fully clarified, which I suspect is deliberate), she's relatable to all readers, and her willingness to open herself up despite fear of rejection is very inspiring. This month's theme is Risk-taking, and it seems to me, as a writer, that writing about a character with any form of disability is inherently risky; one fears that the book will become "about" the disability rather than the character. 

Can you think of another book that takes risks with a physically or emotionally challenged protagonist, successfully? 


Melissa Walker said...

This book looks AMAZING.

Antony John's FIVE FLAVORS OF DUMB handled a deaf protagonist really well (and had her managing a rock band, no less). Definitely was not about her disability.

Micol Ostow said...

I'll have to check that one out! Great title.

Lorie Ann Grover said...

I keep meaning to read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. I also think of Rules by Cynthia Lord.

holly cupala said...

Oh, The Curious Incident is excellent! So affecting. This has been on my to-read list for a long time. I think the cover is gorgeous, the idea fascinating, and I've enjoyed following Tara's author story.

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