LAWSON, Sue You Don’t Even Know Black Dog, 2013 334pp $18.95 pbk ISBN 9781922179715 SCIS 1625770
In lots of ways Alex is like a typical sixteen year old; he’s into sport, has a girl friend and has issues with his parents but unlike his mates and his older brother Ethan he likes to dress up as a fairy sometimes or play tea parties or hide and seek to please his little sister Mia. Alex loves his little sister. When times get tough with his Dad and Ethan picking on him for not being manly enough or his teacher at school giving him an extra hard time he knows he always has Mia’s love. Then one day something happens that will change his comfortable middle class life forever but how can anyone really know his pain…or can they? Sometimes life must take us on a circuitous journey before we can make sense of things.
Told in the first person, Lawson cleverly draws us into the confusing, complex world of a sensitive, vulnerable young man through her beautifully written, compelling narrative that alternates between past and present in the Neurosurgery High Dependency Unit at Prince William Hospital. This is a wonderful, heart breaking, life-affirming story that will appeal to its young adult audience from the first page. Highly recommended. MC