Friday 5 August 2011

Zelah Green

Zelah Green by Vanessa Curtis. (Hardie Grant Egmont)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-1-4052-5505 -9
Reviewed by Lillian Rodrigues-Pang

Zelah Green is the teenager with an unusual name and very real problems. She is a full-charactered girl, facing modern problems of a deceased mother, an alcoholic father and a new and selfish stepmother. Her way of trying to implement control gets out of control as OCD takes over her life. Zelah believes her rituals and cleaning habits means she has things under control although in a turn of events she ends up in an institution.

It’s a small private institution for teenagers only so readers are kept within a warm loving environment. We are introduced to one girl who has anorexia, one who cuts herself and a boy who is selective mute. The house hosts/doctors are loving caring and relaxed people. Despite the situation Zelah is in there is good quality humour in this story. Zelah is ultimately likeable, with a witty sense of humour. She comes across as a very normal teenager who is facing big issues. I found myself liking her a lot.

I enjoyed reading about a humorous and real teenager and that the book covers a range of very real issues. I feel teenagers will get a valuable insight into various mental health conditions. The book offers solutions and we travel with characters as they find their way towards recovery.

This is a re-release of Zelah Green, a second book Zelah Green, One more little problem is also available.

The book is advertised as 11 years and above and I highly recommend youth read this book. It is a great story with a very likeable character. It can also serve as a good conversation starter on some very real problems in our community.

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