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Last Leaves Falling, The

Author: Sarah  BENWELL
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Subject/Category:  9-12
Year Reviewed:: 2016
ISBN: 9781481430654
Review: Since the prognosis of Lou Gehrig's disease is quick physical degeneration and early death, Abe loses his ability to play his beloved baseball, then his independent mobility, and ultimately must surrender his dream of becoming a professor. Set in urban Japan, this portrayal of a teen facing his own soon demise manifests in poignant and stark introspection intensified by the seemingly continuous onset of further debilitations, the struggle to foster friendships sans pity, and the agony of burdening his single mother with it all. But support from his mother and online friends plus snippets of Samurai honorable-death haiku -- some written by Abe himself -- subtly ease the reader through the somber finale.

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