By Zoje Stage
St. Martin’s Press, 9781250170750, July 2018, 320pp.
The Short of It:
Impossible to put down.
The Rest of It:
Hanna is seven-years old and has not said a word to anyone. Ever. Concerned, her parents take her for testing but there is no physical reason for her lack of speech. When it’s suggested to Hanna’s mother Suzette that perhaps it’s a behavioral issue, Alex, Hanna’s father doesn’t want to believe it. Suddenly, out of the blue, Hanna says something to Suzette but instead of excitement, Suzette feels dread because the words that come out of Hanna’s mouth are quite disturbing.
Oh! There is so much going on in this one. Hanna is fiercely attached to her father which makes it all the more difficult when Suzette realizes that her daughter needs help. Alex only sees the good. He’s at work all day but Suzette is the one who home schools Hanna. Suzette is the one who sees her act out in unimaginable ways. Suzette is the one Hanna targets when her jealousy rears its head. No school will take her. Suzette begins to feel like she’s trapped with this kid who does horrible things but she’s still her mother, so what can she do? What can be done?
That is the question. That and trying to figure out what is wrong with this kid! The entire time I was reading this book my mind jumped all over the place. Is this kid possessed? Is she playing games? Is there something really wrong with her? A brain tumor? Something? This is the type of book that will drive you crazy but is also incredibly fun to read. Suzette is weaker than I would have liked her to be but as a mother myself, I’m not sure how I would handle a similar situation.
Baby Teeth is listed as a must-read by many for good reason. It’s thoroughly entertaining and impossible to put down. It made me second-guess myself a few times and had me questioning what the “right” decision would be for a parent in the same situation. I really enjoyed it.
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