Life is Funny by E.R. Frank

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A moving novel about a diverse group of teenagers in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Eric is fiercely protective of his little brother, Mickey. The world sees only his fierceness. China and Ebony, watching outside the day care near McDonald's, see him as "mad scary." Later, a teacher sees that Eric is an artist worth her attention. He is one of eleven characters -- black, white, Pakistani, Puerto Rican -- whose story over seven years in Brooklyn is worth anyone's attention. Rarely does such power and tenderness illuminate a book and the true worlds of its kids. Most attend the same school; their live take different trajectories yet intertwine, overlap, cast light upon the others. Grace and Sam are lucky enough to be beautiful. Sonia struggles to live the life of a good Muslim girl in a foreign America. Monique and Molly are sisters who each feel saved by the other. Keisha says, "Before Gingerbread first talked to me, I'd a long time forgotten about laughing, but the second after he said his own name right out loud, I remembered again. When we first started, I asked why he laughed so much, and he said, like it ought to be plain as day, Because life is funny, and maybe that's when I for real started to fall in love." Frozen from laughter and from tears, Linnette warns to Eric when she hears him being told: "Your mother's fighting a war out there. That war got her so young she's been fighting since before you were a thought." for his mother wants nothing to do with Eric. Her enemy is the crack addiction, something Gingerbread was born with and yet can still say, and mean, "If you have a good anybody to help you through, you can do anything." This book brims with "good anybodys."


About E.R. Frank

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E. R. Frank is the author of two highly praised novels for Atheneum: "America" and "Friction." Her first novel was "Life Is Funny, " winner of the "Teen People" Book Club NEXT Award for YA Fiction and was also a top-ten ALA 2001 Quick Pick.In addition to being writer, E. R. Frank is also a clinical social worker and psychotherapist. She works with adults and adolescents and specializes in trauma.
Published April 1, 2000 by DK CHILDREN. 272 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

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Realistic language, rough and profane, fierce situations that are nearly too much to bear, and a savagely honest portrayal of the nature of the interconnectedness of life make this not a novel for the faint of heart or timid reader.

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Publishers Weekly

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"Eleven kids with distinct voices and individual struggles narrate this impressive debut novel, yet each of the interlocking stories springs to life with tender details," said PW in a starred review.

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Publishers Weekly

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When he literally reaches out to her at the end, she delicately describes her reaction as ""my voice high and melting, my insides all unfrozen."" The language is gritty, and some of the story lines will be intense for young readers, but this is ultimately an uplifting book about resilience, loyal...

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