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*Starred Review, Booklist

What is it like for a teenager to live under the shadow of cancer? Sixteen young adults explain in a moving record that smoothly blends their first-person responses with facts and interpretations sensitively supplied by the authors. Following a brief look at the kinds of cancer most commonly found in young people, Gravelle and John turn to the victims themselves, investigating how teenagers juggle the demands of adolescence with the requirements of their medical situation -- a situation, say the authors, that increases dependency on the adult world at the very time when teenagers are striving to become more independent and to develop their self-images. Young people, ranging roughly in age from 13 to 21, speak candidly here, recalling the initial shock of their diagnoses, their treatments, and pressures at school. They talk freely about how relationships with family, friends, and romantic interests change, for the better and for the worse; they reflect on their futures; and they talk about how they deal with the very real possibility of death. An important, heartfelt, honest book that demonstrates clearly how having cancer changes young people -- and how from such trouble can emerge such strength.