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Alex Lerner, Daphna and Me

This is a story about friendship, love and loss, told by 12-year-old Avner. Gila Almagor shapes Avner`s complex inner world sensitively and convincingly, as she describes his relationship with his best friend Alex who dies of cancer. By telling his story, Avner tries to relieve his distress and to sum up an important chapter in his life. Life hasn’t been kind to him. At home, he suffers from the growing tension between his parents who eventually split up. His father is often away from home, and Avner soon discovers that he’s having an affair. He follows his father, finds out where the woman lives and even meets her. At the same time, Avner tells us about his love for Daphna, his classmate, who is unaware of his feelings for her. When Alex, a new student, joins the class and attracts Daphne`s attention, Avner is jealous at first. Alex came to Israel from Russia a few years ago; he’s an excellent student, plays the flute and gradually wins a place for himself in the class. Overcoming his envy, Avner becomes his best friend, and Alex, Daphna and Avner become a threesome. The bond between them intensifies when Alex is suddenly diagnosed with cancer and has to have painful chemotherapy. Avner’s emotional crisis, both at home and with his friend, lies at the heart of this fine book. Inevitably, the final parting leaves him with an emptiness inside.

Title Alex Lerner, Daphna and Me
Genre Children
Ages 12 up
Publisher (Hebrew) Am Oved
No. Pages 150pp.
Book title - Hebrew (phonetic) Alex Lerner, Daphna Va-Ani