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The Lightness of Hands

By: Jeff Garvin

Sixteen-year-old Ellie Dante is desperate for something in her life to finally go right. Her father was a famous stage magician until he attempted an epic illusion on live TV—and failed. Now Ellie lives with her dad in a beat-up RV, attending high school online and performing with him at birthday parties and bars across the Midwest to make ends meet.

But when the gigs dry up, their insurance lapses, leaving Dad’s heart condition unchecked and forcing Ellie to battle her bipolar II disorder without medication.

Then Ellie receives a call from a famous magic duo who offer fifteen thousand dollars and a shot at redemption: They want the Uncanny Dante to perform the illusion that wrecked his career—on their live TV special, which shoots in Los Angeles in ten days.

Ellie knows her dad will refuse—but she takes the deal anyway, then lies to persuade him to head west. With the help of her online-only best friend and an unusual guy she meets along the way, Ellie makes a plan to stage Dad’s comeback. But when her lie is exposed, she’ll have to confront her illness and her choices head-on to save her father—and herself.

ISBN: 9780062382894

JLG Release: Aug 2020


Sensitive Areas: Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion
Topics: Magicians , Reality TV shows , Bipolar disorder , Fathers and daughters

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal*

School Library Journal

For Ellie Dante, life presents constant obstacles. Living in an old RV with her father, a magician of lapsed fame, she struggles to pay for food, gas, and the basics as they travel the country looking for gigs. After dropping out of high school and enrolling in an online program, Ellie fights against spotty Wi-Fi and impossible time constraints to For Ellie Dante, life presents constant obstacles. Living in an old RV with her father, a magician of lapsed fame, she struggles to pay for food, gas, and the basics as they travel the country looking for gigs. After dropping out of high school and enrolling in an online program, Ellie fights against spotty Wi-Fi and impossible time constraints to tackle her academic work. But the most challenging hurdle is her bipolar II disorder. With money running low and no health insurance, Ellie and her father, who has a heart condition, are in constant medical danger. When Ellie has the opportunity to help her father gain a second chance at fame, she reluctantly pushes forward and does everything she can to save his reputation. Garvin not only captures the intricacies of teenage emotion perfectly, but also successfully integrates the painful, complex symptoms of Ellie’s mental illness into the more mundane concerns of her daily life. He paints a realistic, startling portrait of what it’s like for a high school girl with bipolar II to get through each day. Using the unique, captivating backdrop of the field of magic, the author creates an unforgettable tale that is sure to help teens imagine what it’s like to be on the verge of homelessness while also fighting mental illness. An important, moving portrayal of the way mental illness affects the life of a teenage girl; a worthy addition to any library.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062382894

First Release

August 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

400

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Balzer + Bray

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Underage Use , Language: Strong Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes , Violence: Suicide Reference/Discussion , Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Reference or Discussion

Topics

Magicians, Reality TV shows, Bipolar disorder, Fathers and daughters,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

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