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Gr. 6-10. This contemporary novel does for synesthesia what Terry Hesser's Kissing Doorknobs (1998) does for obsessive-compulsive disorder: the lively personal story demystifies a fascinating condition. For 13-year-old Mia Winchell, the world has always been filled with a wonderful, if sometimes dizzying, sensory onslaught--numbers, letters, words, and sounds all cause her to see a distinct array of colours. She keeps her unusual condition a secret until eighth grade, but then her colour visions make math and Spanish impossibly confusing, and she must go to her parents and a doctor for help. However, this is more than a docu-novel. Mass beautifully integrates information about synesthesia with Mia's coming-of-age story, which includes her break with her best friend and her grief over her grandfather's death. The episode where Mia fabricates an illness to try out acupuncture for the colour visions it produces is marvellously done, showing Mia's eagerness for new experiences even as it describes a synesthete's vision. References to a comprehensive Web site and bibliography about synesthesia are included. Debbie Carton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Wendy Mass won the ALA Schneider Family Book Award for her first young readers' novel, A Mango-Shaped Space, about a girl with the fascinating condition synesthesia. In Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life, a boy embarks on a life-changing journey. InEvery Soul a Star, three very different kids are brought together by a solar eclipse; and in The Candymakers, four kids enter the contest of a lifetime. The Space Taxi series sends a boy and a talking cat on adventures to distant planets, and the Willow Falls books (beginning with 11 Birthdays) add a dash of magic into a small town. Wendy lives in New Jersey with her family.
"I love it! Such an interesting, touching story about an issue I knew nothing about. And I want to adopt Zack and keep him forever."--Karen Cushman, author of the Newbery Medal winner The Midwife's Apprentice "From the moment I read a story by Wendy Maas I knew she was a writer to watch. I welcome her first book and am certain young readers will, too."--Judy Blume "Funny and touching at the same time. Wendy Mass has a winner in Mango's Mia!"--Meg Cabot "An intriguing first novel. Well-defined characterizations, natural-sounding dialogue, and concrete imagery."--Publishers Weekly "An original, brightly written tale."--Washington Post