February 23, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger | SLJ Review

Get the latest SLJ reviews every month, subscribe today and save up to 35%.

redstarSTEIGER, A.J. When My Heart Joins the Thousand. 352p. HarperCollins/HarperTeen. Feb. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062656476.

Gr 10 Up –Alvie is 17. She enjoys her routine of working at the zoo, coming home to her apartment, playing on her laptop, and going to the park near her home. After running away from foster care, she has been living on her own and is eager to be legally emancipated. Sitting in the park one day, she sees a boy (Stanley) throw his cell phone into the pond. She rescues the phone, emails him, and an online friendship quickly develops. When Stanley wants to meet in person, Alvie asks him if they can have sex. Although nothing is consummated, a romantic relationship starts to build between them. When Stanley tells Alvie he loves her, she panics and cuts off contact with him. This sends her into a spiral, which ultimately results in her losing her job and becoming homeless. It is only after she reconnects with Stanley and faces the truth about her past that she can find happiness. Flashbacks to Alvie’s childhood, her difficulties at school, and her relationship with her mother add depth and understanding to her character. Her meltdowns and behavioral quirks (an interest in rabbits, a love of the book Watership Down) add dimension to what is a fully realized portrayal of a person living with Asperger’s. As her romantic foil, Stanley’s character is initially a little too perfect, but as the story progresses it is made clear that he struggles with his own issues. This is a love story that could also appeal to adult readers. Their love is hard-fought and deservedly earned. VERDICT Recommended for all YA collections.–Kefira Phillipe, Nichols Middle School, Evanston, IL

This review was published in the School Library Journal January 2018 issue.

Share
Diversity and Cultural Competency Training: Collections & RA

Do you want to ensure that your library’s collections are diverse, equitable, inclusive, and well-read?

Do you want to become a more culturally literate librarian and a more effective advocate for your community?

We've developed a foundational online course—with live sessions on February 28 & March 14—that will explore key concepts essential to cultivating and promoting inclusive and equitable collections.
Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind

*