July 06, 2006


Mental illness isn't the usual topic of YA novels, but through the years it has slowly begun to lose its stigma. How All This Started, by Montana author Pete Fromm is the painfully realistic story of Austin and his idolized and bipolar sister, Abilene.

Austin and Abilene know that they are love children, conceived during their parents' six year anniversary jaunt through the U.S. But once they had children, their parents settled down... and in Austin's mind, just settled, living out on the fringe of the desert in a stark and blasted landscape. There's nothing else to do but play baseball, and Abilene is the best pitcher anyone in their little town has ever seen. But Abilene's goal is to make her brother even better -- a fireballer like Nolan Ryan. She's obsessed with it... and she's pushing herself and her brother out onto the edge.

Austin loves his "Ab'lene," but can he follow where she's leading him? Depicting a complex and painful love between a brother and sister, this novel will leave you a little bruised, but the triumph is well worth the ride.

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