Vanishing by Bruce Brooks

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Alice just can't stop crying. To her, it seems as if it should be simple. If your parents split up, you live with the one who understands you best. Alice's father had always been the one to "get" her. But somehow she had ended up living with her mom, who drank too much, and her stepfather, who didn't like her and didn't care who knew it. So when a bout with bronchitis lands her in the hospital, she decided she just can't face going home again--ever.

What if she simply stops eating--goes on a hunger strike? They would have to keep her there, wouldn't they? It seems like the simplest solution, even when the hallucinations start, even when they kind of take over. But suppose she goes into a coma--or dies? If that happens, she'll have her new friend Rex, the mysterious boy who says he's dying, but whose jaunty ways have brought Alice to life.

Once again, Bruce Brooks tells an intriguing story that puts new twists on the oldest, biggest issues--love, death, and taking charge of your own life as you move toward adulthood.


About Bruce Brooks

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Bruce Brooks was born in Virginia and began writing fiction at age ten. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1972 and from the University Of Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1980. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, a magazine writer, newsletter editor, movie critic, teacher and lecturer.Bruce Brooks has twice received the Newbery Honor, first in 1985 for Moves Make the Man, and again in 1992 for What Hearts. He is also the author of Everywhere, Midnight Hour Encores, Asylum for Nightface, Vanishing, and Throwing Smoke. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Published June 4, 1999 by HarperCollins. 112 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Vanishing

Kirkus Reviews

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Brooks (Each a Piece, 1998, etc.) deftly fills in a complex background, peopled by adults who have failed his protagonist in various ways, and, without forcing an agenda onto events, presents Alice with reasons to take up her life again: the strongest are her stepfather’s reluctant promise to ben...

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Publishers Weekly

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Beginning with an out-of-body experience for the protagonist, the frequently dreamlike atmosphere of this novel distances the audience from the weighty events occurring here. Alice is an 11-year-old g

May 31 1999 | Read Full Review of Vanishing

Publishers Weekly

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Through a series of flashbacks, readers learn that Alice is hospitalized for bronchitis because of her father's and grandmother's neglect, and she intentionally stops eating in order to avoid being released to her alcoholic mother and her hateful stepfather.

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Teen Reads

When Alice comes down with a bad case of bronchitis, Nana decides she can no longer cope with Alice's illness and says that Alice must leave."Alice would no longer be living there, her father said.

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The Kenyon Review

The history / of the world is told thru the eye / of the colonizer, who takes pleasure in / sticking his fingers into an anemone’s / mouth until it starves.” By contrast, poems in Vanishing-Line often begin with a distant slow pan like the open vistas of There Will Be Blood or a John Ford film: ...

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