Paper Heart

Listening Library. 2021. 654p. $50. ISBN 9780593397534.
Gr 4-8–In this moving companion to the outstanding Tornado Brain, Patrick here focuses on the “normal” sister, Tess, instead of her sister Frankie, who is on the autism spectrum. Reeling after the death of her best friend, Collette, Tess is sent to live with her aunt in Wyoming for the summer to attend a summer art camp. Tess attempts to pursue her usual interests, but memories of Collette continue to haunt her. Developing relationships with her goth cousin Kennedy and an attraction to a fellow camper, Izzy, along with the guidance of a therapist, finally help Tess find some closure. Jesse Vilinsky narrates in a youthful, approachable voice in the first person. She adeptly reflects Tess’s feelings of loss and uncertainty, along with her sometimes complicated relationship with her twin, Frankie. While there is not much differentiation among the female characters, Vilinsky voices Tess’s four-year old cousin, Kane, in an adorable way.
VERDICT This audio could be helpful for middle schoolers experiencing grief and anxiety, and is a must for those who enjoyed Tornado Brain.

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