Cover image for Waiting to disappear
Waiting to disappear
Fritz, April Young.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Hyperion Books for Children, [2002]

Physical Description:
316 pages ; 22 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 5.1 8.0 65230.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Mullens, better known as Buddy, should be having a wonderful summer. Everybody in her small Southern town is getting ready for the Fourth of July, and she's about to start high school. But little by little, Buddy's mom is slipping into her own dark world, and that summer she finally has a breakdown. She has to be taken to Moodus Meadows, a place for people with emotional problems. How could her mother just leave her? Buddy still has her dad and even likes the idea of her glamorous Aunt Sherry staying with them, but she wants her mom back. And one way or another she's going to make it happen. H Events unfold believably and hopefully in this moving story about family, mental illness, and coming of age. . . .-Booklist (starred review)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-10. Just before Buddy enters high school, Mom descends into a debilitating depression, and when she enters a psychiatric hospital, Buddy feels lost and angry at being abandoned. She wrestles with telling people where her mother is, imagines ways to make her better, and struggles to carry on at home with her father and Aunt Sherry. At the same time, some old friendships are being tested: pretty, effervescent Ginger wants to get Buddy excited about high school and boys; quiet, noble Verna needs Buddy's support to help her handle her own family responsibilities. Grown-ups are as fully and beautifully realized here as the teen characterspages with her blunt opinions and perky matter-of-factness, to practical Gram and Daddy, stunned, bewildered, unable to confront fully what the future may hold. Though in pain themselves, the adults form a protective net around Buddy in a way that never degenerates into sentimentality. Events unfold believably and hopefully in this moving story about family, mental illness, and coming-of-age, which is set squarely in small-town America in the late 1950s. Anne O'Malley

Publisher's Weekly Review

Buddy, a 13-year-old girl in a Southern town in 1960, struggles to handle her mother's nervous breakdown. "Buddy's winning personality and her imperfect circle of support add warmth to this story," said PW. Ages 12-up. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-9-In the summer before she begins high school, Buddy Mullens's life takes another turn for the worse. Two years earlier, her beloved older brother, Booth, perished in a car crash. Now her mother has had a nervous breakdown and has hospitalized herself, and the 13-year-old worries that her friends will ostracize her because of her mother's illness and wonders if it is contagious and/or hereditary. Set during the 1950s in a small town, the story follows Buddy as she struggles to keep her family together and racks her brain for ways to help make her mother well and bring her home. Her Aunt Sherry, barely out of her teens, serves as a breath of fresh air in the girl's life. In addition to her family problems, Buddy faces changes in her relations with her friends, boy-crazy Ginger and Verna, who must care for her younger siblings because her mother has polio. Buddy is a character who will linger in readers' minds. Her growth during the course of the novel is believable and the lessons that she learns about family and friends and being true to oneself are timeless. Fritz has crafted a novel that is reminiscent of the work of Kimberly Willis Holt and Betsy Byars.-Linda B. Zeilstra, Skokie Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.