Gloria, an impulsive, naïve and likeable teen with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), tries to keep her family together while their mother's addictions threaten a move to foster care. Willa,
Gloria, an impulsive, naïve and likeable teen with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), tries to keep her family together while their mother's addictions threaten a move to foster care. Willa, an older teen with a learning disability (LD), wants to play in a rock band where her gifts truly shine, but her mother's controlling and perfectionistic personality — and Willa's increasingly abusive boyfriend — cause her unhappiness. When Gloria and Willa are partnered in a school club, they soon come to appreciate and depend on each other in a world that at times seems counter to their dreams.
This is the 5th book in Lorna Shultz Nicholson's One-2-One series about a diverse group of fictional teens connected through a Best Buddies high-school program.
View Biographical note
Lorna Schultz Nicholson has published children's picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and non-fiction hockey books. Her books have been nominated for many awards and are often on the CCBC Best Books for Kids and Teens. The first four books in her One-2-One series were all nominated for the Red Maple Forest of Reading award. She is also the author of the new young adult novel, When You Least Expect It.
A frequent presenter in schools, Lorna also speaks at writing workshops and conferences. Lorna lives in Edmonton with her husband, and the quirky dog she rescued from Mexico.
View Review text
"Behind the Label is an intimate story told with the alternating voices of Willa and Gloria. Presenting both teens? perspectives in this way allows the reader to more deeply understand the struggles that each character faces throughout the novel. Presenting the two from very different socio-economic worlds, but pairing them together in their struggles with special needs, offers a fresh perspective into how, although people sometimes see themselves as alone, they may be more similar to others than they first think. The author does a solid job of rounding out the characters and creating believable situations despite the many heavy topics presented in the novel. This novel is filled to the brim with sad reality, joy, and hope. It would be an excellent read for teens looking to see themselves as more than just a label.
— CM Magazine
"Behind the Label is written in first-person narratives, giving the reader a glimpse into the mind of each girl, making the text deceptively simple in some cases. The simple text covers heavier themes of addiction, abuse, bullying, and neglect, while also highlighting how someone with FASD or dyslexia may experience them. This makes the book more enticing to the reader, instead of third-person narration, which doesn't give such detailed insight to the characters.
"Behind the Label is a good book to help readers understand how others face different challenges, and how everyone deserves fair treatment and the opportunity to thrive. Both characters are well developed and likeable. While there are darker themes discussed in the book, it is still suitable for younger YA readers, but will hold the interest of older teens."
— Canadian Children's Book News