Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{March 12, 2011}   Cellular, by Ellen Schwartz

Synopsis from Orca Books: “Brendan has it all-captain of the basketball team, good friends, a beautiful girlfriend and a loving family—until he is diagnosed with leukemia. Terrified and convinced that no one understands what he is going through, Brendan faces chemotherapy alone, until he meets Lark. She is also in treatment, although her condition is much worse, and yet she remains positive and hopeful. Brendan is torn between feeling sorry for himself and the love for life that Lark brings to even the simplest thing. Through Lark, he discovers the strength to go on, to fight for survival and to love.”


Orca Book Publishers is an organization that produces fiction for reluctant readers, especially readers on the lower spectrum, with a reading level between second grade and fourth grade.  Cellular comes from the Orca Soundings series, which is for those ages 12+, and is written in a way that the reader, especially a reluctant reader, can easily understand.  

Wow.  I never thought such a short book could pack so much emotion!  I was reading Cellular during my break at school today, and I had to put it aside because I was on the verge of tears!  This is a very powerful and emotional book about a boy trying to deal with a death sentence: Leukemia.  I was not prepared for my emotions to be rubbed raw as I read about Brendan undergoing treatment, or how those around him reacted to his illness.  I broke down at the conclusion of the novel, something I’m not used to doing in regards to a book.  Schwartz does an amazing job capturing the fear and heartache Brendan, and his family, undergo as he battles cancer in hopes of survival.  I highly recommend this novel as it puts everything in perspective and will make you count your blessings.  Five stars.

Check out my Orca Book Publishers page for more information, titles, and reviews for reluctant readers!


nick says:

hi my name is nick im 13 and i like ur book an im doing a bookreport an will u now how bookrept are so yae is this ture story.

Hi Nick,

I’m pretty sure the novel Schwartz wrote is not a true story, but the events in it are extremly lifelike–they could happen if people aren’t careful.

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