Stop Pretending (Paperback)

What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

By Sonya Sones

Harper Teen, 9780064462181, 160pp.

Publication Date: July 12, 2016



Continuously in print for nearly two decades, this groundbreaking and profoundly moving story told in verse, from award-winning author Sonya Sones, has been repackaged with a striking new cover and bonus content.

When her beloved older sister is hospitalized after a sudden mental breakdown, Cookie is left behind to cope with a family torn apart by grief, friends who shun her, and her fear that she, too, might one day lose her mind.

Based on award-winning author Sonya Sones's own true story, this novel explores the chilling landscape of mental illness, revealing glimmers of beauty and of hope along the way. Told in a succession of short and powerful poems, it takes us deep into the cyclone of the narrator's emotions: despair, anger, guilt, resentment, and ultimately, acceptance.

Praise For Stop Pretending: What Happened When My Big Sister Went Crazy

“This debut novel shows the capacity of poetry to record the personal and translate it into the universal.”
-Chicago Tribune on Lucy Sullivan

“Stop Pretending is a tour de force debut. It celebrates truth-telling, and has a purity and passion that speaks to the heart.”
-Boston Globe

“The poems have a cumulative emotional power.”
-ALA Booklist (starred review)

“The poems take on life and movement, the individual frames of a movie that in the unspooling become animated, telling a compelling tale.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“Unpretentious. Accessible. Deeply felt.”
-School Library Journal

“Sensitively written.”
-The Horn Book

-KLIATT, starred review

“Beautiful and disturbing.”

“Intense…Blank verse is perfect for a story with such heightened emotion.”