Two Girls Staring at the Ceiling


Frank, Lucy. Two Girls Staring At The Ceiling. New York: Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014. 978-0-307-97974-2. 259 p. $16.99. Gr. 9 and up.

Chess and Shannon are two teenage girls hospitalized for Crohn’s Disease.  This is a new disease for Chess, but one Shannon has dealt with for years.  Life outside of the hospital is different for each girl, but they find themselves in the same hospital room divided by a thin curtain.  Chess is stoic in her new illness internalizing all of her pain, while Shannon is more vocal and outspoken.  The story is told in verse with each page divided by a line symbolizing the thin curtain that divides Chess and Shannon’s hospital room.  The two girls friendship grows as they help each other come to terms with their illness.

Realistic (Verse)         Robin Burns, Salisbury High School

Readers who are fans of of John Green’s Fault in Our Stars will find similarities with the storyline and some content but will enjoy the story for its own unique blend of friendship and realistic fiction.  The style of the novel, in verse, makes for quick read and would appeal to reluctant readers.  The subject matter, Crohn’s Disease, creates curriculum connections for health and anatomy courses as an extension activity.

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