Recommended reading by the National Mental Health Association.
To his mother, twelve-year-old Benjamin Sherman is an object of pity and anxiety. To his father, he is bizarre and embarrassing. To his psychiatrist, he is a case study in mental illness. To the counselors at the camp where he is spending his summer, Benjamin is a “freaky kid” who shuns his peers and is strangely—and perhaps dangerously—attached to his best friend, Elliot, a stuffed letter H.
Through the letters of his sister, mother, father, camp counselors, and psychiatrist—and, most touchingly, through those Benjamin writes to Elliot—this audacious and utterly unsentimental novel gives us a moving and sometimes shocking intimacy with a child whose disorder may be a kind of fragile genius. H is an astute, sympathetic evocation of the state we persist in calling “madness.”
“A new and mind-boggling perspective on mental illness from the point of view of the sufferer and those who would love and care about him. . . . H is a very poignant, enthralling debut.”—The Boston Globe
“Shepard is a reverse archaeologist, designing a tiny contemporary lost world for readers to excavate. . . . Everything matters. . . Shepard gets everything right.”—New York magazine