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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
When Summer Ray Whitcomb receives a diary from her mother for her birthday, she isn’t impressed. Writing isn’t her thing. But she decides to give it a shot. She quickly comes to enjoy putting her thoughts and emotions on paper, and her diary becomes the confidante she never really had before. She chronicles her boy trouble, frustration with her parents, especially her workaholic father, and Tuesday Times with her mother. Every Tuesday, Summer and her mother pick out something to do together, just the two of them, and Summer adds a memento of it to the scrapbook she’s making. But as months go by, Summer’s mother begins to act increasingly odd and is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s. Summer must find a way to help her mother and cope with her own stress, with only her older brother to help her.
Half on Tuesday by Amy E. Whitman is the poignant tale of a young girl’s struggle to come to terms with her mother’s Alzheimer’s disease. It’s told in diary format and Whitman does a great job in capturing the voice of a teenager. Summer is a relatable character, especially to kids, with her school issues and boyfriend drama, and friendship trouble. Where readers will likely encounter something new is the Alzheimer’s. Whitman’s portrayal of Summer’s mother and her diagnosis and mental deterioration, and Summer’s reaction to it, is sensitively and compassionately written and will be easy for kids to understand. This book is a touching and emotional read, perfect for teens and adults alike.