Publication Date: May 12, 2009
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WHEN DORA, ELENA’S older sister, is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, Elena can’t seem to make sense of their lives anymore. At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora’s friends and Jimmy Zenk—who failed at least one grade and wears blackevery day of the week. And at home, Elena’s parents keep arguing with each other. Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal—even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.
Julie Schumacher is the author of three books for middle-grade readers. This is her first YA novel. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Starred Review, School Library Journal, August 2008:
"A readable, ultimately uplifting book about a difficult subject."
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2008:
"[A] standout novel."
Starred Review, The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, September 2008:
"[T]his understatedly told story dramatically illustrates the way one family member's setback happens to the whole family, but they must all still find their own ways through it."
Starred Review, Booklist, November 1, 2008:
"Schumacher beautifully conveys Elena's loneliness and guilt as she tries to protect her sister without betraying her, as well as the emotional release she experiences upon finding someone to trust with her own feelings."
“This tale of a good family that suddenly finds itself in bad trouble is witty and spare and expertly maps the territory of depression. Julie Schumacher is a wonderful writer; I love this novel.” —Judith Guest, bestselling author of Ordinary People
“Schumacher’s books ring with genuine and true memories, and her technical skills put her among the top middle-grade and YA writers working today.”—Pete Hautman, winner of the National Book Award
“Black Box is a vivid, intimate portrait of the effect depression has on its immediate victim and on the people around her. Taut and compact, it is written with passionate clarity.”--Andrew Solomon, bestselling author of The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression