Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Grief for children

An old expired library friend of mine once said something about award books (this one is on the Iowa Children's Choice list) always being so dreary and this title reflects just that! Oh, sure there is hope at the end and the story is good but the sadness is bang right there in the first three pages.


While Cara spends the night with her best friend Marlee, her home is destroyed by a fire. When she arrives at the hospital, she discovers her mother, Julia and her little sister, Jane have been killed in the fire. Her father is filled with grief, works late and expects Cara to survive on her own. This 148-page book tells the story of her grief and how she and her father learn to survive together. I enjoyed the friendship between Marlee and Cara until Marlee lets Cara know that she has grieved enough. Marlee wants her "old Cara" back. After getting over her initial shock, Cara finds baking as a way to connect with her mom and eventually with her father. Cara and Marlee's families are Jewish so many holidays and customs are explained throughout the book and there is a glossary at the back. I did notice the author has a new book out and I look forward to reading it
Recommended for 3rd and 4th grade.

Brenda A. Ferber's website

Iowa Children's Choice Awards

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