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[Review] Cameron and the Girls by Edward Averett

April 5, 2013

Cameron and the Girls.  Averett, Edward.  Clarion Books.  224pp.  $16.99  April 16, 2013.  780547612157.  Heartbreakingly funny, Edward Averett’s book takes a look at schizoform disorder from the point of view of 14 year old Cameron Galloway who describes his disorder with such a genuine sincerity that it’s hard for the reader not to fall in love with the main character.  Schizoform disorder is similar to schizophrenia except that the episodes are shorter.  Cameron has been hospitalized twice and has to be in special classes and put up with people making fun of him.  According to Cameron, the voices in his head are quit normal, but no one views him that way, “… once people think a certain way about you, it’s hard to get it out of their heads… I wish it were different, but it’s not.” 

Despite all these medical issues, Cameron makes up his mind to stop taking his medication.  The medication makes the voices go away and Cameron actually likes hearing the voices.  They bring him comfort and keeps him company.  He likes the the strange feelings and hallucinations caused by the disease.  This is his normal, however, no one else feels the same as he does.

I really liked this first person narrative.  His voice seems so natural in the telling of his story.  How the author got into the character’s head and was able to find the voicing for a young 14 year old child suffering from schizoform disorder was amazing…not to mention his clinically depressed friend Nina whose diagnosis is described as something like “being dead while breathing.”  Very much in the vein of Palacio’s Wonder,  this book allows the reader the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the strength and dignity of a young teen struggling to grow up and become more independent while dealing with a serious psychological disease with truth and honesty.

…an excellent addition to my middle school shelves.

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