Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Cold Hands, Warm Heart by Wolfson
Wolfson, Jill. Cold Hands, Warm Heart, 245 pgs. Henry Holt and Co., 2009.
Ratings : R for language (8 f- words, 10 others) ; PG for sex (references in dialog) ; G for violence.
Half the story is told in a third-person narrative that tells about Tyler's life - a boy whose younger sister dies suddenly in a gymnastic meet. We also meet other bit characters, such as nurses, doctors, donor personnel, and other donor recipients. The rest of the story is told in first-person by Dani, a teen who needs a new heart. Right from the very first scene when Tyler's sister dies, this book tugged at my heart strings. I could feel the pain and heartache of Tyler and his family, the frustration and worry of Dani and hers. I learned a lot about what life might be like waiting for a transplant, and the pain and joy of connecting with a loved one who is already dead. The book is not about a interpersonal relationship between Dani and Tyler, but rather about how two opposite experiences -- one that inflicts long-lasting heartache and loss to one family and another that provides renewed hope, energy, and possibilities to another -- are really one story. Life and death are irrevocably connected on many different levels, and making connections between those that are experiencing death and those that are experiencing new life is important to both.
HS - ADVISABLE.
Reviewed by P.K. Foster, MS teacher-librarian.