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MG recommendations for a child who recently lost a parent

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I'm appealing to all the Blueboarder Collective Wisdom out there...

A 4th grade teacher came to me today in the library to ask for MG book recommendations for a student whose mother recently died. My first thought is Anna Staniszewski's light and funny MY VERY (UN)FAIRYTALE LIFE; the main character, Jenny, has lost her parents before the start of the story and goes to live with a kind but scatterbrained older aunt. Although she does reminisce about her parents, she eventually starts to heal.

I thought of Gary D. Schmidt's WHAT CAME FROM THE STARS, which released just a few days ago. I have an ARC, but haven't read it yet. The reviews I've read lead me to believe that the MC comes to terms with his mother's death and emerges with some semblance of happiness, but with the alien language (and accompanying glossary!), it might be too difficult for this child, and I'd hate to see her struggle with comprehension.

I'd appreciate any other suggestions.

 :thankyou

#1 - September 06, 2012, 03:50 PM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
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Maybe any kind of story that doesn't have parental death in it? (unless pure fantasy, like Harry Potter) I'm just thinking that books could offer escape right now. I know my own daughter, at the ages of 8 to now (11), hates reading stories about parental death because it makes her think of us dying. If one of us actually died, and someone put a story about the death of a parent in her hands, I think it would push her right over the edge.

Just a thought. :bunnyrun
#2 - September 06, 2012, 03:58 PM

I agree - stories *without* parental death in them. If I lost a child, all I'd want to read is stuff like Jack Reacher - total escapism.
#3 - September 06, 2012, 04:18 PM
Robin

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Good point. I guess what I'd like to do is to be able to offer one such book in a pile of books the child could choose from. I (or the teacher) could book talk maybe 4 or 5 books, and the child could choose one, some, or all of them.
#4 - September 06, 2012, 04:40 PM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

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I'd just hate to see them gobsmacked by subject matter they weren't prepared for, ya know?

What lovely and thoughtful people you both are to be thinking of this child. I hope you find just the right titles.
#5 - September 06, 2012, 05:44 PM

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I'm so glad you are preparing to have books ready that are either pure escapism and ones that depict your own life:

Love that Dog by Sharon Creech (well anything by her)
Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck
Moon over Manifest
Little Princess / Secret Garden / Oliver Twist -- if the student likes classics

So sorry for the child. May her mother rest in peace.
Vijaya
#6 - September 06, 2012, 07:01 PM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
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A friend of mine whose husband died had the worst time with books and movies for her two young boys. It seemed everything had a dead parent who came back to speak to them/help them in some way. The kids started believing it would happen, and they had such a harder time. But the story interest has to be child driven. I'm the sort who would want to drown in stories about my situation. Others would avoid them.

And I agree that The Little Princess is a good choice since Sarah has so many big problems in addition to losing her father. You can both empathize AND sympathize since the situation is so tough.
#7 - September 07, 2012, 06:23 AM
Author of iPad apps, MG books, and women's fiction

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I would throw in a couple how-to-draw books in the mix, and some good paper. If you could get the child drawing, he or she might be able to express things that s/he wouldn't in other ways.
#8 - September 07, 2012, 06:58 AM
Learning to Swear in America (Bloomsbury, July 2016)
What Goes Up (Bloomsbury, 2017)
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Thank you all so much for these recommendations and good wishes for this student!
#9 - September 07, 2012, 07:00 PM
FLYING THE DRAGON (Charlesbridge, 2012)
A LONG PITCH HOME (Charlesbridge, 2016)

www.nataliediaslorenzi.com
http://bibliolinks.wordpress.com/

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