Booktalk: Izzy, Willy Nilly by Cynthia Voigt

Izzy Willy Nilly cover

If you’re looking for great realistic fiction with well-drawn characters, then Cynthia Voigt is definitely a safe bet.  And you probably won’t have to look far, because her books have been a staple of children’s and young adult collections for years.  She’s written many memorable books, but Izzy, Willy Nilly is one of my all-time personal favorites!


Izzy was a popular, pretty, fifteen-year-old girl.  She was on the cheerleading squad, and she had a lot of friends.  On Wednesday, Marco Griggs asked her out to a party that Saturday night.  Izzy thought he was nice – not great, but nice – and she said she’d go out with him.  He was a senior, after all.  Saturday night they went to the party, and Izzy had a good time.  She didn’t realize just how much Marco had been drinking until he went to drive her home.  He was so drunk that he couldn’t control the car, and they crashed into a tree.  That night, Izzy was brought to the hospital.  By the following Wednesday, Izzy was on her way to recovery, but half of her right leg was gone forever.  In just one week, her whole life had changed.

Now she has to start her life all over again, as something she doesn’t want to be: an amputee, a freak, a cripple.  The kind of person people don’t know how to talk to, or even look at.  Izzy thought that only her life would change after the accident.  What she didn’t realize is that everyone else’s lives would change, too.

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