Worser by Jennifer Ziegler
Life has not been easy for this studious, sometimes too-smart -for-his-own-good kid. Worser’s sheltered world with his mother, a university professor, is shattered when she has a stroke. The brilliant academic is no more. In her place is someone with garbled speech, erratic movements, and the need for constant rest.
Aunt Iris, along with her two cats and outrageous art projects, moves in as mom’s caretaker. She also assumes the role of Worster’s guardian, meeting with school staff to discuss her nephew’s performance, suggesting that he update his wardrobe, offering to redecorate his bedroom, and calendaring his daily activities. Worser resents her intrusion into his well-ordered life. He makes it clear that she is not his mother.
Iris' rehabilitation methods for her sister includes finger painting, singing, and even dancing. Worser considers his aunt's therapy sessions demeaning and embarrassing. Her unconventional style is the antithesis of everything he knows.