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The Best Medicine

The Best Medicine

Interest Age: 10–12
Grade: 5–7
Reading Level: Common Core Correlations
CCSS.ELA-Literacy Strand-Reading literature: L.6.3,4,4a,5,5b,5c,6

Reading Level: Lexile 740L
Hardcover : 9781554518807, 168 pages, March 2017 , 8.5" x 5.5"
Paperback : 9781554518791, 168 pages, March 2017 , 8.5" x 5.5"


Cancer is no laughing matter—or is it?

What do you do when you’re a twelve-year-old kid and your mother gets breast cancer? Philip Wright is twelve years old and life is pretty good. He has a comfortable relationship with his mother and gets reasonably good grades – in spite of girl problems, teacher problems, bully problems and—well, poetry problems. Philip’s happy-go-lucky life is disrupted when his mother gets breast cancer. Bad enough that your mother is seriously ill—but could she not have developed a less embarrassing kind of cancer—toe cancer, maybe, or ear cancer? Philip’s attempts to cope with his situation are both hilarious and touching amidst his confusion and bewilderment. When his mother is devastated to lose her hair Philip stands in solidarity. Through it all, he writes letters to his hero, a comedian by the name of Harry Hill. Philip looks for advice from Harry, but gets no response to his many highly amusing and urgent appeals for guidance as an aspiring comic, and as an adolescent in need of advice in matters of life and love.


“Middle-grade readers will identify with Philip’s conflicts with his best friend and his antics to win Lucy’s affections.”

- Kirkus Reviews, 02/01/17

“This engaging, affecting novel strikes the right balance between lighthearted humor and sensitivity in its portrayal of a difficult crisis.” 

- Booklist, 03/10/17

“A well-written story.”

- Chris Laurie