Cynnie is thirteen years old and dealing with more than she can handle. Her mother is an alcoholic, and Cynnie must take care of her three-year-old brother, Bill, who has Down syndrome. After her grandparents take her brother to live with them, Cynnie soon turns to alcohol to help her cope with her loss, insecurity, and hopelessness. After she tries to kidnap Bill and gets in a car accident, she is required to go to Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. It is here that she is able to form relationships with caring, responsible adults, and she begins to gain the freedom she needs to focus on her own emotional and physical recovery. For troubled teens, this book can be both a reflection of the pain of addiction as well as hopeful inspiration for recovery. The characters do not always sound authentic, but the emotion portrayed is real. Also, pair this story with books like Nancy Werlin’s Rules of Survival as examples of young people overcoming abuse and hardship for the sake of themselves and those they love.
Call number: YA HYDE (Teen Room)