By Brendan Halpin
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374324360, 192pp.)
Publication Date: September 2, 2008
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5:30 a.m., Brianna Pelletier gets ready for her daily pounding. As she lies on the couch, her dad beats her chest, then her back, coaxing the mucus out of her lungs. The pounding doesn’t take care of everything. Brianna’s held out for a long time, but a body with cystic fibrosis doesn’t last forever. It doesn’t matter that Brianna has a brilliant mathematical mind or that she’s a shoo-in for MIT. Or even that her two best friends are beautiful, popular, and loyal. In the grand scheme of things, none of that stuff matters at all. The standard life, lasting maybe seventy-five years, is no more than a speck in the sum total of the universe. At eighteen, and doubting she’ll make nineteen, Brianna is practically a nonentity. Of course she’s done the math. But in her senior year of high school, Brianna learns of another kind of math, in which an infinitely small, near-zero quantity can have profound effects on an entire system. If these tiny quantities didn’t exist, things wouldn’t make the same sense.
Funny, tear-jerking, and memorable, the author’s second novel for teens introduces readers to an extraordinary girl who learns that the meaning of forever can change, and that life – and death – is filled with infinite possibilities. Forever Changes is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
BRENDAN HALPIN was a high school English teacher for ten years. He is the author of How Ya Like Me Now. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.
“This is a heartbreaking story of courage, friendship, and acceptance, with some great math concepts to boot.” —School Library Journal"Brianna's hesitancy about planning for a future while facing death is poignant and resonates with readers." —VOYA
“The writing . . . captures much dimension in the personalities of Brianna and those who love her.” —Kirkus Reviews “Halpin’s gift with dialogue and Brianna’s strong voice propel this memorable journey.” —Booklist “This is a good book to help young people contemplate the meanings they are making of their own lives.” —Kliatt
“This novel has a unique, true voice and a compelling story.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
“The story of a young woman whose time is measurable if not mathematically knowable . . . readers will be drawn by that affecting theme.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books"One of the best books I've read." —A YALSA YA Galley Teen Reader “Halpin is masterful at weaving the abstract world of mathematics into a beautiful understanding of life and death.”—ALAN’s Online Picks "It was one of the best pieces of literature I have read so far this year."—A YALSA YA Galley Teen Reader "Really enjoyed this book, very interesting and thoughtful."—A YALSA YA Galley Teen Reader
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For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org