Bray, Libba. 2009. GOING BOVINE. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385733977 [Suggested Grade Levels 9- 12]
Cameron wanted to coast through high school, but life isn’t going to give him that chance. Suffering from Creutzfeldt-Jacob, or Mad Cow Disease, Cameron’s family begins coming together in support, but is it too late? For Cameron, life begins to take a turn for the bizarre as he leaves the hospital and sets off on a Don Quixote-like quest for Dr. X and a cure. Yet he is not alone. In the company of a pink-haired winged Dulcie and sidekick Gonzo, Cameron sets off on a road trip unlike any other.
Throughout the story, the reader vacillates between accepting events at face value and questioning everything as manifestations of Cameron’s illness. What is real in this unusual story and more importantly, the reader may well wonder, does Cameron ultimately find the cure he seeks? The author has spun a fast-paced story that is filled with adventure, yet also tragedy as the character of Cameron comes to fruition within these pages.
The reader may wish to learn more about this illness and its affect on the patient’s mental state using Web sites like MedlinePlus.gov. This book also provides the opportunity to explore the literature that forms the basis of this novel, DON QUIXOTE. Parallels might be drawn between the characters, story line, and even the mental musings as expressed by both Cameron and Don Quixote.
Young adult novels with similar themes:
Dorfman, Joaquin. THE LONG WAIT FOR TOMORROW ISBN 9780375846946
Forman, Gayle. IF I STAY. ISBN 9780525421030
Stohl, Margaret. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES. ISBN 9780316042673
By Christine J. Rayl