How to Disappear Completely
How to Disappear Completely
Publisher's Hardcover14.44
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Annotation: "While her grandmother was alive, Emma's world was filled with enchantment. But now Gram is gone, and suddenly strange spots are appearing on Emma's skin. Soon, she's diagnosed with vitiligo--a condition that makes patches of her skin lose their color--and the magic in her world is suddenly replaced with school bullies and doctor appointments. But when Emma writes one last story in the journal she shared with Gram, something strange happens. Someone writes back to her, just like Gram used to. Who's writing to Emma? And just what is her story going to be, now that everything is so different?"--Provided by publisher.¬
Catalog Number: #203383
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Publisher: HarperCollins
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 373 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-06-289328-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-289328-4
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019946024
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Shortly after moving to her grandmother's tiny, rural town, a girl develops vitiligo.Emma notices the first spot, like a white freckle, on the day of her grandmother's funeral. Though she's distracted in the following days and weeks by grief and loneliness, missing the grandmother with whom she'd made up stories about fairies in the woods, Emma can't miss the new white spots on her skin, which keep appearing and spreading. Perhaps if she had her sister's and father's "buttercream" skin she could ignore it, but Emma has her mother's "much darker complexion," and the dots are unmistakable. (If Emma's biracial, nothing is made of that fact in the story.) A doctor confirms what Emma's internet search has hinted at: Emma has vitiligo, an autoimmune condition that causes the skin to lose pigment. She's perfectly healthy, she learns, as she spends a chapter reading from a medical pamphlet, relaying helpful and informative excerpts to readers. Unsurprisingly, Emma's vitiligo, combined with being a new kid in school, has led to some vicious bullying in her new seventh grade. What would Emma do without Fina, her new friend? Fina is warm, supportive, and Mexican American, providing comfort, extremely unkidlike counseling, and educational explanations about the Day of the Dead and quinceañeras. Emma's troubles and the magical stories she'd told with Gram in the forest come together in a warm and after-school-special-ish Thanksgiving in which even the bully is revealed to be good at heart.As subtle as an extremely heartwarming brick. (Fiction. 9-11)
Publishers Weekly
Seamlessly blending childhood wonder with the slow lessons of maturity, Standish (August Isle) sketches a detailed portrait of 12-year-old Emma Talbot, a girl encountering loss. A voracious reader with a boundless imagination, Emma spent every weekend with her creative Gram in the fairytale-esque town of Lanternwood until the beginning of the summer, when Gram admitted that she had terminal cancer and the Talbots moved in to help. Now living in Gram-s cottage with her parents and older sister, Emma is starting seventh grade at the local school, where she knows no one, despite her time spent in town. On top of dealing with Gram-s death and a strained familial relationship, Emma, whose skin resembles her mother-s (it-s -much darker- than her father-s -buttercream- complexion), notices white spots on her skin-spots that multiply and get bigger by the day. What follows is a season of growth as Emma learns to navigate the complexities of her newly diagnosed
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6 A successful blend of mystery and friendship drama whose heroine is learning to embrace her diagnosis of vitiligo. Emma begins seventh grade with a lot on her mind: Her family has moved to a small town, her beloved grandmother has died, and she just found a white spot on the light brown skin of her foot. Within a few weeks, more color disappears from her skin, and the alpha mean girl in class adds Emma's changed appearance to the list of things she taunts her about. Fortunately, the protagonist has allies in a new friend from Los Angeles, an understanding teacher, and her own originally unsympathetic mother. Woven throughout Emma's first-person narrative are excerpts from her favorite (fictional) book, The World at the End of the Tunnel , as well as notebook entries where she co-writes a magical tale with an unknown correspondent. These interjections, plus a complicated plot involving old friendships and hidden family history, slow the pace a bit; but the thoughtful protagonist and her journey to self-acceptance make for an appealing read. An estimated one percent of people worldwide have vitiligo, and accurate information within the text will leave readers better informed about this common condition. VERDICT This gentle, contemporary title is sure to strike a chord with older tweens. Beth Wright Redford, Park Elementary School Library, Cross Plains, WI
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Publishers Weekly (4/1/20)
School Library Journal (4/1/20)
Kirkus Reviews (4/1/20)
Word Count: 73,311
Reading Level: 4.8
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.8 / points: 11.0 / quiz: 508341 / grade: Middle Grades
Guided Reading Level: J

When Emma discovers the first spot, 'like a tiny bright moon' on her left foot, she's at the funeral of her grandmother, who had been her best friend as well. The diagnosis is vitiligo, a skin condition triggered by stress. Creating a large multigenerational cast, Standish knits an absorbing story of loss, identity, and human connections. A rewarding, realistic novel, illuminated by magical elements. -- Booklist (starred review) Wonder meets Some Kind of Happiness in this powerful tween novel from Ali Standish, author of the Carnegie Medal nominee The Ethan I Was Before and August Isle . While her grandmother was alive, Emma's world was filled with enchantment. But now Gram is gone, and suddenly strange spots are appearing on Emma's skin. Soon, she's diagnosed with vitiligo--a condition that makes patches of her skin lose their color--and the magic in her world is suddenly replaced with school bullies and doctor appointments. But when Emma writes one last story in the journal she shared with Gram, something strange happens. Someone writes back to her, just like Gram used to. Who's writing to Emma? And just what is her story going to be, now that everything is so different? Award-winning author Ali Standish explores the ways life transforms us, and how we learn to let go of what we must while still holding fast to who we are. Seamlessly blending childhood wonder with the slow lessons of maturity, this tale succeeds in celebrating curiosity, thoughtfulness, and collaboration, centering on relatable characters who welcome readers into their world. -- Publishers Weekly


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