Black Box by Julie Schumacher


Elena is quieter and steadier than her fun, unpredictable older sister, Dora. But they have always been close, and have always told each other everything. So when Dora is diagnosed with depression and has to be admitted to the hospital, nothing makes sense to Elena without her.

At school, the only people who acknowledge Elena are Dora's friends and Jimmy Zenk—who wears black every day of the week and seems to be getting through ninth grade on his own special schedule. At home, Elena's parents' new hobby seems to be arguing with each other after they think Elena has gone to bed, and it just gets worse once Dora is finally discharged. Now Elena will do anything to help her sister get better and get their lives back to normal—even when the responsibility becomes too much to bear.

In this gripping, moving novel about a family in crisis, Julie Schumacher thoughtfully explores how far we'll go to protect the ones we love.


Julie Schumacher delivered a view of depression that wasn't to overly dramatized like in most books. It focused more the effects that comes with being the sibling of the person who is depressed. I enjoyed seeing this because usually in most depression stories it focus on the person who has it and the effects it has on them not their family or siblings. Elana's voice in Black Box I thought was realistic because of the different feelings see felt. For example, she hatted her sister at times for putting her through all this drama, but then felt like she should have been her sister's protector. Also, I liked how Julie Schumacher showed Dora's up and downs throughout the book, never shying away.

Who ever created the cover of this book did an awesome job. It showed the story just how I perceived it. Because , in my view of the book, Elena was always trying to break down the wall Dora had put around herself since being admitted to the mental hospital. Though, Elana never could no matter how hard she tried.

Overall , the writing in this book was great and kept you interested to the end. Though, I wish Julie had made this novel longer than 168 pages ,because I felt there was more to be told.

5/5 stars


  1. I read this awhile and I loved it; it was so beautifully written.

    Great review!

  2. I enjoyed this book also. I thought that the cover was perfect for the story.


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