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reading YA, graphic novels and the spaces in between

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problematic psychiatric treatment

worrying about the world

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman (Simon Pulse, 2017) is a nuanced portrayal of the harm anxiety can wreck on a person’s life. Kiko’s difficulties happen side by side with toxic family relations, friendships full of love and understanding, and a budding romance. Kiko’s art is her release and her story centres around her search for an art college where she can nurture her talent and escape her past.

“I live my life in the small space between uncomfortable and awkward.”

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schizophrenia in Made You Up

Spoilers ahead My review mentions some of the problematic aspects without spoilers.

“If nothing’s real, then what does it matter? You live here. Doesn’t that make it real enough?”

There’s so little YA featuring schizophrenia I was excited to read Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015). It’s garnered lots of love since its publication last year including shortlisting for the Inky Award 2016. I found misunderstanding of schizophrenia and psychiatric care and use of the sensational aspects we see so often in books and media. Zappia does a disservice to real people and their real problems and fears caused by their schizophrenia.

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made you up

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia (Greenwillow Books, 2015) is longlisted for the Inky Award 2016. Will it make the shortlist tomorrow?

There are inaccuracies with the depiction of schizophrenia and psychiatric care which I elaborate here. Problems aside, Made You Up allows readers to experience what a person with schizophrenia does – not knowing what’s real or not.

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pausing at the edge

The Pause by John Larkin

I knew what I was getting into when I read The Pause by John Larkin. Ok, I only borrowed it from the library because it was long-listed for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year for Older Readers 2016. After reading the blurb, I momentarily considered sending it right back, instead I stepped into the void, knowing full well the consequences of my folly.

If, like me, reading about suicide is triggering, you might want to turn back now and never pick up The Pause. Or you could forge ahead and see if you come out the other side. I did!

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