In Something to Hang On To award–winning author Beverley Brenna constructs a diverse cast of quirky and honest young teens in tough times. In varied settings characters battle through adversity: a fear of heights, family violence, the physical cage of Down syndrome, ossifying muscular dystrophy, the artistic world of autism, and even a toe caught in the vacuum. In these positive fictions, teens find ways to overcome their obstacles by capturing lasting resolutions from within. In “Foil Butterflies” a creative boy with a rare form of autism escapes to his tree house to write poetry and personify gum wrappers. Set in pre–colonial Canada, “Gift of the Old Wives” is a story about a young Cree girl with a unique gift, which allows her to predict an impending Blackfoot attack on her tribe. In “Finding Your Voice” an exceptional and unconditional friendship is made between an insular foster child and a girl immobilized by muscular dystrophy. In “One of the Guys” Brenna employs rare writing mechanics in a first person narration of a boogey boarding teen boy who finds solace in ocean waves. By using effective problem solving to overcome the seemingly impossible, these characters become encouraging examples for all teens to look within for resolve and to reach out to others in need. The twelve stories that comprise Something to Hang On To vary in time, place, and voice offering pathos as well as zany humour, creating maximum appeal for their reading audience.
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