A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that A World Without You is a compassionate and sensitive fictional account of teenage mental illness and how it affects the patient's family. The level of violence is low, primarily some graphic scenes from the past -- a Civil War battlefield and the hanging of a witch in Salem, Massachusetts. Bo and Sofia are in love with each other, but their relationship seems limited to kissing.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
As A WORLD WITHOUT YOU opens, the students at Berkshire Academy are mourning the suicide of one of their classmates, Sofia. All except Bo, who's convinced that she's still alive. Bo believes he can travel through time, and that it's his fault Sofia's trapped in the past during the Salem witch trials. Even though he's convinced that the other Berkshire kids have superpowers that range from telepathy to pyrokinesis, he's determined to save Sofia himself, even if it means alienating himself from his friends and family and putting himself in grave danger.
Is it any good?
Writing realistically and compassionately about mental health issues requires sensitivity and talent, and this intricate, affecting, and surprising novel proves more than up to the task. Author Beth Revis writes convincingly from two perspectives, from that of Bo, embroiled in crisis, and that of his sister, Phoebe, who both loves and resents him for the turmoil that has overtaken their family. A World Without You offers few easy answers, but through its deft character work and careful plotting, the novel gives readers reason for hope.
Unfortunately, the jacket copy gives away many of the book's secrets. It is better to approach A World Without You without any preconceived notions as to what the story is really about.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the depiction of mental illness in A World Without You. What interventions are sometimes necessary for someone with depression, anxiety, psychosis, or schizophrenia?
Is it normal to feel resentment toward family members who are sick and need a lot of attention? What can be done to reduce family stress?
Why do superheroes play such a large part in popular culture? How might their fictional adventures help people cope with real problems?
- Author: Beth Revis
- Genre: Coming of Age
- Topics: Superheroes, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, High School, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Razorbill
- Publication date: July 19, 2016
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 18
- Number of pages: 384
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.