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Extended Audio Sample Black Box Audiobook, by Julie Schumacher Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (795 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Julie Schumacher Narrator: Lynde Houck Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9780739385944
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When Dora, Elena's older sister, is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, Elena can't seem to make sense of their lives anymore. At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora's friends and Jimmy Zenk, who failed at least one grade and wears black every day of the week. And at home, Elena's parents keep arguing with each other.

Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal, even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Francesca | 2/15/2014

    " The premise was interesting, but I just didn't feel enough of a connection to the characters to see this as being more than a basic book about depression and a family's experience with it. I liked the author note at the end. Still, this book just didn't seem to GO anywhere. For people with no experience in mental illness, this could be a good introduction, but I'd rather direct a reader to Sonia Sones. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Malissa Bray | 2/15/2014

    " i ejnoyed reading it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Louisa | 2/11/2014

    " This was really good book, and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favourite. I enjoyed the characters and the writing, it was good, but it could've been better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy Rose | 1/28/2014

    " This book is for anyone that has hard someone say that they were fine but knew better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 1/28/2014

    " Amazing. One of the top books of 2008, in my opinion. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 1/25/2014

    " This book was a very emotional book. Lena is the daughter who has to hold everything together, even when her family is falling apart. She should have told her parents at the very beginning, and she has to live with that decision, and yet it really wasn't her fault. Her parents didn't want to hear the truth, and her sister didn't want her to tell it. The ending ends on a hopeful note, and yet we don't know what happens exactly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ms. Nelson | 1/15/2014

    " Depression in adolescents not only tears them apart, but their family as well. This is a book about what a sister has to go through dealing with her sister's break down. Truly eye opening "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Ramos | 1/13/2014

    " This book talks about real life situations. It talks about a girl with depressiona and how her family has to deal with the problems it comes with, especially as her conditions get worse. I thought it was really interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gatorgal21 | 1/5/2014

    " this book gives you a good look at what depression does. Written in a easy way to understand, it's a very good read "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney | 1/2/2014

    " tjis book is really sad cause a girls sister is having trouble with depression "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 12/21/2013

    " An excellent, easy to read book about the effect of teen depression on the younger sibling. Very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krislynn Rios | 12/18/2013

    " This book was good, short but powerful. Its a must read if you know someone who suffers from depression. I finished the whole thing in 2 or 3 sittings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/30/2013

    " Lena's older sister suffers from depression and is hospitalized, her weird friend, Jimmy, has a psychiatrist for a mother and seems to be an expert. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari | 11/21/2013

    " Ohh....I'll just read a few pages before going to bed and I read the whole darn thing!! Really good book, easy read, tough subject. Well written, good characters, believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stella | 3/21/2013

    " Short book about a girl and her family as they deal with her sister's attempted suicide. The author covered the sensitive subject very nicely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nanci | 10/5/2012

    " good book about how depression affects a whole family, which ends on a hopeful note. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Isa Endert | 9/23/2012

    " it was sorta depressing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Megan | 6/12/2012

    " Garsh, how depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 5/8/2012

    " An interesting view on depression from the point of view of a sibling. The black box really put depression in perspective. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynne | 11/6/2011

    " A thoughtful book that accomplished what I think it intended to and that did so with sensitive but realistic storytelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katarzyna | 10/14/2011

    " This book was very interesting (and a little depressing). It was about a girl, Elena, whose sister became extremely depressed and how her sister's depression affected Elena, her family, and the people around her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ginette | 5/15/2011

    " really good. I loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Esther | 2/19/2011

    " The emotions expressed by the author are sincere. I liked how the percentage of water in the body represented the amount of tears/emotions Elena had stored up, 100% being the threshold. I pretty much cried from 93% onwards. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Taylor | 2/18/2011

    " started out a little boring, but turned out to be a great book.
    "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tory | 2/5/2011

    " I LOVE this book. I saw so much of myself in this book, back when I suffered from depression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mellie | 1/13/2011

    " It starts a little slow but really takes a deep look into adolescent depression and how it effects everyone around you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 12/29/2010

    " Sad and touching. I would recomend it to anyone and everyone with a heart "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 12/27/2010

    " This book is for anyone that has hard someone say that they were fine but knew better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 10/31/2010

    " Great young-adult book. I downloaded it from Nebraska OverDrive and listened to it this weekend... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erika | 10/5/2010

    " im learning that if some one is really quiete it means some thing that there going through like problems "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stella | 9/30/2010

    " Short book about a girl and her family as they deal with her sister's attempted suicide. The author covered the sensitive subject very nicely. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kari | 8/1/2010

    " Ohh....I'll just read a few pages before going to bed and I read the whole darn thing!! Really good book, easy read, tough subject. Well written, good characters, believable. "

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About the Author
JULIE SCHUMACHER grew up in Wilmington, Delaware, and graduated from Oberlin College and Cornell University. Her first novel, The Body Is Water, was published by Soho Press in 1995 and was an ALA Notable Book of the Year and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and the Minnesota Book Award. Her other books include a short story collection, An Explanation for Chaos, and five books for younger readers. She lives in St. Paul and is a faculty member in the Creative Writing Program and the Department of English at the University of Minnesota. Visit her on the web at julieschumacher.com.
About the Narrator

Lynde Houck is an AudioFile Earphones Award-winning narrator.