Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Age Level:  14 and up

# of Pages:  143 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

Award:  Iowa Teen Award Winner 2009-2010

Izzy is a fifteen year old girl telling the story about when she was diagnosed with Lymphoma and how her life changed because of it.  This is a story about a girl who survived Cancer, but that does not mean it was easy.  Izzy had to struggle with terrible side effects from the Chemo, being treated differently at school, and even watching her family suffer as they watched her become weaker.  Izzy was surprised at how different people reacted to the news that she had Cancer.  Some people believed she must have done something bad in a past life, others kept telling stories of people they knew who had Cancer and died, and still others left her alone because they did not know what to say.  She missed the days when all she worried about was school and tests, but Izzy makes it very clear that her story is important because not all people die from Cancer.

This is an honest story about a young person with Cancer.  It depicts the many difficult aspects of having Cancer, both physical and mental.  Amy Goldman Koss wanted a book out there that did not end with a person dying because there are too many books and movies that end that way.  She wanted a book about a person who fought it and lived.  The reactions of Izzy’s friends and family were also interesting and might help any young people who know someone who is very sick.  It can be difficult to know how to react in a situation like this.  An interesting and quick read.

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5 Responses to “Side Effects by Amy Goldman Koss”


  1. 1 allen mannil October 17, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    i absolutly love your books i have read sideeffects about 7 times this is my 8th time 🙂

  2. 2 lindsey January 27, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    i love love love this book

  3. 3 Anonymous April 23, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    sad but really good and awesome book read like ten times

  4. 4 Sarah K. Humble April 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I just finished reading it for the first time! It was good! However, I found it not at all very exciting, just sort of the same mesh throughout the entire thing. The real reason I read it was because I’m writing a similar book, and wanted to see the different ways authors had of depicting the stories, I had to say, she was pretty good! I thank her for that!

  5. 5 Jenna Stein January 24, 2013 at 12:39 am

    This book was the best book i have ever read! im talking above the hunger game series and the series of unfortunete events!!! 🙂


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