Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush 1983 Honor Book *

Sweet Whispers, Brother Rush is about a 14 year old girl named Tree who is left to care for her retarded brother Dab for days at a time while her mother works and dates her boyfriend. Unbeknownst to her Dab suffers from a rare disease that becomes acute when one takes drugs or drinks alcohol. Dab has been using barbiturates and becoming increasingly ill. Tree's dead uncle, Brother whom she never knew existed appears to her as a ghost and has her enter a magical mirror where she learns that her father isn't really dead but abandoned her family, her uncle didn't die in a car accident but committed suicide, and that her mother used to beat her brother and tie him up. Her mother finally returns home and find Dab extremely ill, they get him to the hospital just in time to run up a big bill before he dies. So she must leave again to work off the debt and brings in a homeless woman to live with Tree who moves into Dab's room less than 24 hours after his death.

If my wonderful summary of the book doesn't give it away I'll tell you straight out. I hated this book! Anyone reading this review should shower me with gifts and thank you cards for reading this book so that they don't have to go anywhere near it. Not only is it confusing and strange, it's inappropiate for children, and I question how valuable it even is for adults. Never I have a read a book that has caused me to consider a negative star system. I feel like finding the author and asking for compensation for time wasted reading this book. Either after reading 72 Newbery books I have no idea what it takes to be considered a Newbery, or somehow the judges that year were using the same barbiturates as Dab when choosing this book.

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