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Can You See Me Now? Paperback – Import, 30 Jun 2014
Library Binding, Import
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Bernal has succeeded in crafting a story that acknowledges tragedy without wallowing in it, placing her emphasis on resilience and personal growth. The quick pace and distinctive characters make for a smooth, well-crafted read.
Middle-grade readers should respond to this tender story of learning to connect with others through open eyes and an open heart. --Kirkus Reviews
From the Inside Flap
On Amanda's thirteenth birthday, her father is killed by a drunk driver while on the way to pick up her birthday present. She's stunned when she overhears her mother blaming her: "If she hadn't insisted on that stupid watch for her birthday, he would still be alive." Her mom retreats into extra shifts at work, leaving Mandy with her grandmother and making her feel as if she has lost both parents. To make matters worse, she's the butt of cruel pranks at school. One day, some girls even glue her skirt to the chair! But things take a turn for the better when she befriends Paloma, an unusual new student at Central Middle School, who introduces her to yoga and meditation. And she reluctantly becomes friends with Rogelio, a fat boy who is also bullied by their classmates. Mandy's new friends, a dog named Lobo and an interesting school project help to ease the pain of her father's death and her mother's absence. She maintains a connection to her father by writing letters to him each night. But will she always be invisible to her mother? Estela Bernal's debut novel, a fast-paced and entertaining read for middle school teens, explores tough issuesincluding death and bullyingwith sensitivity and humor.See all Product description
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After observing the guidance counselor talking with students, Amanda decided she would look for lonely kids to counsel. It didn’t take long to become good friends with Paloma, ridiculed for wearing strange clothes, and Roger, an overweight classmate. Despite missing her father, and resenting her mother’s absence, Amanda learned to draw strength from herself and from her friends, facing life with a new outlook and finding that things aren’t always as bad as they may seem.
“Can you see me now?” shows a young girl’s struggle to reconcile with a loved one’s passing and her mother’s indifference, while trying to empathize with others’ heartaches. Amanda seems to be quite mature for her age, but her real life hopes and dreams will ring true with readers.
Recommended for ages 11-13.