The Best Medicine, by Christine Hamill (2016, 2017)

Humour
10-14
The Best Medicine by Christine HamillPhilip Wright dreams of becoming a comedian like his real-life hero Harry Hill. Philip is dealing with typical middle school problems – too much homework, a demanding bully Philip calls The Yeti, and the heartbreak of unrequited love for a classmate. But Philip relies on getting laughs from his close friend Ang and his mum, known as his biggest fan. So when she cries instead of laughing, Philip knows something is wrong. It turns out she has cancer. And it’s an embarrassing one too. Humour abounds, sprinkled with honest tender moments that strike just the right note for young readers. it’s also full of information about cancer, delivered in a way that feels natural and will inform young readers whether or not they are dealing with this themselves. Hamill is a cancer survivor, and author of the nonfiction book for adults, B is for Breast Cancer. This is her debut novel, first published in 2016 in her native Ireland, and released this year to a North American audience. The cover put me off, and I delayed picking it up for a long time, but once I did I enjoyed this story immensely. It’s set in Ireland and feels quite Canadian, despite a fairly homogeneous set of characters, all well developed and authentic. My thanks to Annick Press for the digital reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31213671
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