The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

320p. Bloomsbury. Feb. 2019. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781681194820.
Gr 9 Up—This first-person work of realistic fiction features Bobby Seed, a teen who has been foisted into the role of "carer," a term American readers might find unfamiliar but will soon understand as they read about Bobby's wisecracking and loving mother becoming less able to take care of herself and her family because of her multiple sclerosis (MS). Not only must Bobby manage school and dinner, but he must also attend to laundry and all his mum's personal needs. Add to that coping with a younger brother with some cognitive and behavioral challenges of his own, and the teen badly needs a solid friend like Bel whose romantic feelings Bobby does not return. He also begins to attend a support group for other teen carers, where he meets Lou, a guy with a Vespa and an American flavor of cool, whom Bobby does find attractive. The book's second half sees Bobby rooming with Lou at a weekend group outing, trying to provide his mum with pot at her nostalgic request to relive her youth while she still can, and hoping to manage even more unthinkable requests as she faces the total loss of body control. While the story is important, the writing style and poor pacing fail to pull teens into Bobby's narrative.
VERDICT An additional purchase.

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