Blaming herself for her younger brother’s illness, Callie cuts herself in attempt to relieve herself of her frustration and of her guilt. Because of her self-destructive behavior, however, she winds up in Sea Pines (or “Sick Minds,” according to her roommate), a psychiatric hospital. Though Callie initially refuses to speak to anyone, residents and doctors alike, she eventually begins to reflect upon her dysfunctional home life and to better understand the roots of her behavior.
Appropriate for more mature tweens, Patricia McCormick’s Cut is an emotionally powerful novel. When Callie first arrives at Sea Pines, a psychiatric hospital, readers are privy to her private thoughts. Through Callie’s internal dialogue, readers learn more about Callie’s practice of cutting and why it started. Here, McCormick tackles a really difficult subject. However, she handles it sympathetically and honestly, not sensationally.
Genre: contemporary realistic
Reading/interest level: ages 12 and up
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