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Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein


  • By: Karol Ruth Silverstein
  • 2021 | Paperback
  • ISBN is 9781623541835 / 1623541832
  • Publisher: Charlesbridge Teen

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“Silverstein sheds a powerful light on disease and how managing it can bring out one’s inner warrior. A blistering coming-of-age tale that will propel readers into Ricky’s corner.” -Booklist. Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, this debut novel, for fans of The Fault in Our Stars, thoughtfully and humorously depicts teen Ricky Bloom’s struggles with a recent chronic illness diagnosis. As if her parents’ divorce and sister’s departure for college weren’t bad enough, fourteen-year-old Ricky Bloom has just been diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness. Her days consist of cursing everyone out, skipping school–which has become a nightmare–daydreaming about her crush, Julio, and trying to keep her parents from realizing just how bad things are. But she can’t keep her ruse up forever. Ricky’s afraid, angry, alone, and one suspension away from repeating ninth grade when she realizes: she can’t be held back. She’ll do whatever it takes to move forward–even if it means changing the person she’s become. Lured out of her funk by a quirky classmate, Oliver, who’s been there too, Ricky’s porcupine exterior begins to shed some spines. Maybe asking for help isn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe accepting circumstances doesn’t mean giving up.

About the Author:

Karol Ruth Silverstein

Karol writes all genres of children’s literature and screenplays. She currently serves on the board of SCBWI-Los Angeles and is a member of the Writers Guild of America West. Originally from Philadelphia, Karol moved to Los Angeles in 1990 to attend The American Film Institute. She worked in film and TV production briefly before turning to writing full time. Karol’s debut young adult novel Cursed is loosely drawn from her experiences following a juvenile rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at age 13. She currently lives in West Hollywood with her exceptionally fluffy cats, Ninja and Boo.

Author Karol Ruth Silverstein Discusses her YA novel CURSED

Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein Reviews:

First-time author Silverstein offers an insider’s view of living with a chronic illness in this heartfelt novel set in Philadelphia. Every movement has become a struggle for ninth-grader Erica (“Ricky”), recently diagnosed with juvenile arthritis, who has had to move from her mother’s house to her father’s “bachelor pad” to avoid using stairs. In constant pain, irritated by “The-Disaster-Formerly-Known-as-My-Parents,” and tired of taunts from schoolmates, Ricky vents her frustration by cutting school—for six straight weeks—and cursing copiously, both of which sit poorly with her new school’s administrators. When she’s eventually caught skipping and forced to attend classes, she faces new obstacles if she wants to make it to 10th grade, including makeup work and after-school sessions with a strict teacher. She also finds some rewards, especially learning how to advocate for herself and developing a friendship with empathic classmate Oliver, a cancer survivor. Silverstein, who was diagnosed with arthritis as a teen, excels at evoking the physical and emotional pain Ricky endures without having Ricky’s condition define her. She emerges as a likable, relatable heroine whose wit and sense of hope will prove inspiring.—Publishers Weekly

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