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3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  806 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Lots of scratching and random creasing. Front cover has a top and bottom corner crease. Back cover has shelf rubbing, a couple surface tears, also a edge spine crease. Little moisture sign on edge and a few pages are dog-earred on the bottom. No marks and intact. Ships very quickly and packaged carefully!
Paperback, 223 pages
Published July 1st 1974 by Avon Books (first published January 1st 1974)
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Jun 27, 2012 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think those who reacted negatively to this book don't understand osteosarcoma. By the time it is found in the leg, it has most likely metastisized. Meaning she would have gone through the surgery and died just a few months later. And this was back in the 60's and 70's. So she spent quality time with her daughter. I absolutely adored this book when I read it in high school and also remember the movie.
There was also some type of follow up I remember where I saw real pictures of the husband and
Jul 18, 2012 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember if I saw the movie or not. I read this when I was in high school and I loved it at the time. I cried and cried and that was part of the appeal. It was all the tragic drama that you can't get enough of at that age. I haven't reread it because I haven't wanted to spoil the way I remember it. I think so much has changed both in me and my outlook (as now someone who is in my mid-40's), the world in general, the way we think about and can deal aggressively with cancer and our expecta ...more
Jun 11, 2011 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book! I grabbed this book off the shelf at my library in school...I think it was late middle school. It was the first book I remember reading and the first book that ever made me cry. I love this book. I was probably too young to appreciate it at the time, but this book turned me on to reading. I had no clue to was ever a movie until I saw the review. Awesome!!
Heather Puckett
Sep 01, 2014 Heather Puckett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over and over again as a tween. An incredibly powerful story that has stuck with me even into adulthood.
Aug 15, 2016 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am guessing I read this book when I was about 12. I absolutely loved it. It was the year I decided I wanted to be a poet and move to the Rocky Mountains and live a life like Jacquelyn - simple, pure, true. Except I did not want to die from cancer at 20 years old. I just wanted to live in the sunshine and have someone love me like Sam loved her.

It moved me powerfully, Jacquelyn's story, and I pushed it on all of my friends. My best friend from high school claims even to this day that it remains
Aug 03, 2011 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-teenage-years
It gets an extra star out of nostalgia for how much my teenage self romanticized the movie and loved the John Denver songs in it. I've grown up and had a daughter of my own. Result? I understand why my grade 8 teacher reacted so negatively when she saw the movie on TV. Get your leg amputated and be there while your daughter grows up!
Jan 25, 2008 Suezq rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
I was 12 when i read this and loved that there were a few swear words. I felt so grown up. This story made me feel compassion for others, and gave me an understanding of love, illness, and friendship and family. perfect bridge from childhood to teens.
Leslie Uribe
Feb 24, 2014 Leslie Uribe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sunshine is a very touching story about a young girl who got married at a very young age. A girl who is curious, and a happy person with her little baby girl Jill. A true story about a girl who's life ended at the age of 20 years old who watches her life ebb away knowing that she must taste of life love and happiness for the last time, especially with her daughter.

I recommend this book to everybody because its a heart touching story. I loved this story alot. Sunshine is the meaning of the girl
Oct 21, 2014 Zoe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blast-from-past
This book made a big impact on me when it was read aloud to us as campers of Cabin 9 (or Cabin 10?) at Camp Wapalanne in the 1970s. In a weird way it has stayed with me this whole time, and I still find myself comparing various situations to the one in the book. In the story, the woman decides she'd rather die of cancer than live without a leg. At least that's what I remember. As a kid I thought I'd DEFINITELY prefer living with one leg, especially if I was in love and had a child. I couldn't be ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 07, 2007 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young people, those who like to read stories about people with cancer
Yes, it’s schmaltz, no, it’s not great literature, but I was captivated by this story of a very young mother battling cancer. Ok, I read it when I was close in age to the main protagonist, and it was a long time ago, and I am fascinated by stories of people with cancer, but I would still recommend it. I reread it several times, and I would bet it holds up ok.
Mar 21, 2010 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, I remember reading this and Eric and Love Story and crying and crying. I started with 2 stars (it is okay), but the truth was I liked it. Actually, ala Sally Field, I liked it, I really liked it.
Zachary Littrell
Jun 18, 2016 Zachary Littrell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
At first, I was afraid Sunshine would be so sweet and maudlin about the tragedy I would get a cavity. And indeed, there's a lot of saccharine sentiments flowing around protagonist Kate, like a cringe-inducing metaphor about making love while pregnant involving the child. But then the book took a very unpleasant turn, and it wasn't the discovery of cancer.; it was the unwelcomed reveal that every single character in this book is a real piece of work.

(I should mention that this book is based on a
Michelle Bacon
May 29, 2015 Michelle Bacon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Katherine Hayden is dying. She's a single mother of 19-years-old with a worrisome lump on her leg. One doctor tells her it's because of all the weight she had on them from being pregnant. She goes to get another opinion and discovers her lump is actually bone cancer. She moves to Vancouver with her soon-to-be husband (her second husband!) and her baby, Jill, to be closer to the treatment center. She tries out several different treatments but refuses to have her leg amputated because she doesn't ...more
Nov 30, 2009 Kara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: teenage, heartstrings
I just re read this and it is kind of bad. I realized that this book was based on the TV movie that I remember so well, not the other way around. it does not do justice to the real life story at all. The writing is spare and dull. Norma Klein does not give this heartbreaking and special story any more care than one of her lesser teen novels.

It's an interesting and tragic story about a young single mother who develops terminal cancer. The thing that is so profoundly sad about this story is how Ka
“…the tender, fleeting moments of a girl who watches her life ebb away, knowing that she must taste of life, love and happiness for the last time.” – Copy from the back of Sunshine

This is another relic from my girlhood of angst. I spoke to my mom about this book recently and I was surprised to hear what a smash hit the made-for-TV movie was in her college years. She reminisced, recalling John Denver’s Sunshine on my Shoulders and the dreamy love interest Sam. A little online research yielded tha
Jane Glossil
Jun 13, 2015 Jane Glossil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book is one of the most memorable books I've read in highschool. I remember I would spend longer hours in our school library just to finish this book, while mustering all my will to hold back my tears. I copied every line, every poem I liked in my trusted notebook of quotes, which I just recently stumbled upon. I would reread this book when I can. Here's to hoping I could find my own copy, perhaps from Booksale. ;)
Nov 12, 2012 Lori rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction

I remember watching the made-for-television movie about this story.

I was 8. I cannot imagine why I was allowed to watch a movie about a young mother facing a deadly illness but back then I was also allowed to leave in the morning on my bike, with no helmet, with instructions to be back by there you have it.

This book was based on the movie which was based on the true story of Jacquelyn Helton and much like Love Story by Erich Segal it is sad and tragic and brave. But like someone impo
Kim Galor
Aug 30, 2016 Kim Galor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I list this book for a few reasons:
1. I can't believe how young I was when I read it. A lofty topic.
2. It impacted me so much and I realize that it was 50% the actual story and 50% Klein's talent.
3. The book is outstanding.
Ann Marie
I read this book a few years after it was published. I think I was probably in eighth grade. And I obviously came away with something totally different from this book than most of the other reviewers did. Maybe I'm heartless but I had (and still have) no sympathy for a mom who would rather die than have her leg amputated. She would rather leave her words behind for her young daughter instead of being around to watch her grow up. Turns out nothing has changed in the past thirty years, except that ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the few books I really vividly remember reading a looooooooong time ago. Like decades ago. And it was so powerful. I should check it out again.
Apr 21, 2015 Andreea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read the book. Then saw the movie. I enjoyed both. What a heartbreaking yet touching story. The book was a quick easy read. But emotionally it was not easy.
Mar 20, 2016 Ariana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this in high school. I remember liking it but I also remember it being very sad. It was never said if this was based on a true story or not.
Wow, read this when I was probably 12....I remember loving it...I love remembering books I read long ago!
Jayne Thorold
Feb 02, 2014 Jayne Thorold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this book way back in the 70s and loved it. Anyone know where I can purchase it again, as would love my daughter to read it?
May 23, 2015 Ibedamnd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I remember as a teenager reading this and loving it... :) I will have to read it again.
Sally Boocock
Aug 04, 2016 Sally Boocock rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an old book but just as moving second time around even more so because it's based on a true life.
Dec 04, 2015 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in two nights. Couldn't put it down. Incredibly sad story but written so well. Written in the 1970s but the emotions throughout are timeless.
Jan 19, 2013 Aime rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Parents, teenagers
Recommended to Aime by: No one just a library book
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 21, 2015 Buthinajeffry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The very first book I've ever read ..
Don Gubler
Touching and tender.
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Norma Klein was born in New York City and graduated cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College with a degree in Russian. She later received her master's degree in Slavic languages from Columbia University.

Ms. Klein began publishing short stories while attending Barnard and since then she had written novels for readers of all ages. The author got her ideas from everyday life
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“Dying is beautiful- even the first time around, at the ripe old age of 20. It’s not easy most of the time, but there is real beauty to be found in knowing that your end is going to catch up with you faster than you had expected, and that you have to get all your loving and laughing and crying done as soon as you can.” 4 likes
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