Blister ISBN: 9780439979528
Published by Scholastic, 2002
Alyssa's life falls apart the day her baby sister is stillborn. There have been long-standing tensions between her parents - tensions that Alyssa has refused to recognise - and the baby was intended to re-establish them as a family. When her father walks out, partly because of her mother's deep depression and partly because (as it becomes clear) he's been seeing someone else, Alyssa decides to become Blister. She can do this because they have moved house and she is in a new fifth grade class. Her gran, Daisy G, is her lifeline, and her mum's. Strong and feisty, Daisy G is 'elastic', and so, she says, is Blister. Blister's mum never has been, and it is up to them to see her through. Depression is realistically portrayed. Blister's new school is full of cliques, and though she makes friends of sorts, it is mainly through telling tall stories with a bravado she is far from feeling. When she steals clothes and make-up from her dad's girlfriend, she feels she is only taking her due, and it is up to Daisy G to convince her differently. Mum does get better in the end, but Blister's relationship with her dad will probably never recover completely. Gritty and funny, sad and realistic, the story has a great deal of truth about it. American setting.