America

America

For Ages: 12 and up
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You try not to think. You try not to imagine, but then those cracks pop up, and these flashes squeeze right through. At first, some of it's not too bad, and you get stupid, maybe even wanting a little more, but then you pull yourself together, knowing what all is likely going to ooze out if you're not careful....

Fifteen-year-old America has been nowhere, has been nobody. Separated from his foster mother. A runaway. A patient. Without love. Without hope. And, eventually, without the will to live.
Until Dr. B. steps in. To listen. To explore. And to find within America both the story and the boy who are lost.
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  • Simon Pulse | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780689857720 | 
  • August 2003 | 
  • Grades 7 and up
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One: Now

You have to watch what you say here because everything you say means something and somebody's always telling you what you mean.

"Step off," I tell this nurse when she tries to get me to eat.

"You mean, thank you for caring," she says. "You're welcome."

"I need a lighter," I tell her, and she goes, "You mean you want a lighter. Dream on, sweetheart."

So I take their medicine and walk around in socks the way they make you, and stay real quiet.

• • •

"Hello, America," he goes. "I'm Dr. B." He holds out his hand, but I play like I don't even see it. "I'll be your... see more

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