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In Sight of Stars
Contributor(s): Polisner, Gae
ISBN: 1250143837     ISBN-13: 9781250143839
Publisher: Wednesday Books
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: March 2018

“An intense, sometimes graphic, totally heartbreaking portrait of a character who will keep pages turning.” - Booklist, Starred Review

"An achingly fierce exploration of the way the world wounds us and heals us. If you love exquisitely written coming-of-age stories that will leave you breathless, In Sight of Stars is for you." - Jeff Zentner, William C. Morris award-winning author of The Serpent King and Goodbye Days

Seventeen-year-old Klee’s father was the center of his life. He introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, he told him stories made of myths and magic. Until his death.

Now, forced to live in the suburbs with his mom, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself—his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northhollow.

While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again. Told in alternating timelines, leading up to the event that gets him committed and working towards getting back out, Gae Polisner’s In Sight of Stars is a gorgeous novel told in minimalist strokes to maximal effect, about what makes us fall apart and how we can put ourselves back together again.

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Psychotherapy patients; Fiction.
Loss (Psychology); Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2018035673
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 9.00" H x 7.00" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 246 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): GAE POLISNER is the award-winning author of The Memory of Things (Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2016), The Summer of Letting Go (Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2014, Teen Ink Editors Choice Badge of Approval) and The Pull of Gravity (2012 Bank Street Best, 2012 PSLA Top Forty, Nerdy Book Club Best YA 2011). She also co-hosts Teachers Write!, a virtual writers camp for teachers and educators. She lives in Long Island, New York with her family.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2018 February)

Gr 10 Up—The year following his dad's suicide has been the hardest of Klee's life. His mom, whom Klee refers to as the "Ice Queen" has moved them from Manhattan to the suburbs where Klee is forced to spend his senior year without his friends, away from the art galleries and museums he used to frequent with his dad. In sleepy Northollow, the only thing Klee has going for him is his girlfriend Sarah, who is beautiful and reckless. When Klee realizes he may soon lose Sarah too, he reacts impulsively and lands himself in a psychiatric hospital. Through Klee's therapy sessions over the course of the next two weeks, readers learn about his family history, his anger at his mother, and the downfall of his relationship with Sarah. With help from a cast of characters that includes a fantastic therapist, other teenagers with mental health issues, and a nun with dwarfism, Klee begins to dig himself out of the darkness and find ways to move forward. In the vein of Ned Vizzini's It's Kind of a Funny Story, Polisner's short novel destigmatizes mental illness, emphasizing that everyone needs a little help sometimes. Readers will laugh, cry, and ache alongside Klee as they follow his recovery. Strong language, brief scenes of graphic violence, and descriptive sexual situations make this a better fit for older teens. VERDICT In a sea of recent contemporary novels about teens with mental illnesses, this one stands out for its strong writing, likable protagonist, and overwhelmingly positive messages.—Liz Overberg, Zionsville Community High School, IN

Copyright 2018 School Library Journal.