Black Box

by Julie Schumacher

Dora and Elena are as different as two sisters can be. Dora's tall and theatrical; Elena is short and practical. "It was as if, growing up, Dora had occupied a certain space and developed a certain kind of personality," Elena says, "and I had taken what was left over. On a barometer, Dora was a storm on the horizon; I was the needle that always pointed to steady." But after Dora is admitted to the local hospital following a suicide attempt, Elena finds it increasingly difficult to remain the family's "steady Eddie." Author's Note. Resources.

ISBN: 9780385905237

JLG Release: November 2008

JLG Member Price

Out of Stock

Young Adults

Grades 9 & Up


12 books / $16.30 a book

  • Book Details




    Print Book





    Page Count


    Trim Size

    5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

    Dewey Classification


    Accelerated Reader

    Level: 4.1, Points: 4

    Scholastic Reading Counts

    Level: 3.4, Points: 10


    Level: 600L

    Awards & Honors

    2009 ALA Best Books for Young Adults; 2009 ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers



    Author/Illustrator Biographies

    Julie Shumacher wrote Black Box when a person very close to her was diagnosed with depression. "Although the events and the characters in the novel are invented, I tried to make the emotions as true-to-life as possible, " she says. "I wanted to write about the secrecy and the shame that too often accompany mental illness. I also wanted to write about the hazards involved in trying to save someone who may not want to be saved. "

    Ms. Shumacher lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she is the director of the creative writing program at the University of Minnesota.

    Visit Julia Shumacher 's Web site at

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