The Sewing Basket
In this young adult novel, it is 1967 and Ruth Iverson is twelve years old, struggling to adapt to her mother’s recent diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease and the ways it is changing her whole family. If Ruth could spend all day, every day, watching the Toronto Maple Leafs and eating popcorn with her dad in the living room, she would. Sure, she wishes her mom was gloating over a Montreal Canadiens win rather than lying nearly incapacitated in her bedroom, but Ruth’s dad makes that absence more bearable. Suddenly Ruth is forced to learn that even this new normal can’t last forever, and she must once again adjust as the adults in her life make decisions that may or may not be in her best interests. Some of the historical background in the book feels like it’s added on rather than integral to the story, but aside from that, readers will feel for Ruth and perhaps connect with her awkwardness and frustration.