All We Know of Heaven

Title: All We Know of Heaven

Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard

Summary: This is a stunningly good book. Right before Christmas, a horrific car accident shatters the lives of two families in a small Minnesota town. Best friends Bridget and Maureen are the victims – one lies in a coma for weeks, the other dies that day. In a tragic mistake, doctors tell the families that it is Bridget who has survived, but when the girl emerges from her coma, it is actually Maureen. One family’s shock and joy instantly becomes the other family’s misery. But that is only the beginning of this unforgettable story.

Under the sudden spotlight thrown on her family and community from all over the world, Maureen must learn to adjust to life with a significant brain injury that affects the way she communicates and weakens the right side of her body. People lend support and take advantage of her in both small and large ways as a town comes to grips with having to mourn one girl while celebrating the survival of another. This is realistic fiction at its best.

Who will like this book?: Fans of intense realistic fiction, and people who like reading about ordinary people in extraordinary situations. This is also an excellent choice for anyone looking for books with characters who are living with brain injury.

If you like this, try this: One of the stories that inspired this book is detailed in Mistaken Identity: Two Families, One Survivor, Unwavering Hope by Don Van Ryn. Another good book about teens dealing with handicaps is Accidents of Nature by Harriet McBryde Johnson.

Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian