Becky and her brother John were best buddies, telling jokes, caring for their dog Toby, and playing soccer. John was always there to cheer her up and help her out—until he died. Becky wishes everything could go back to the way it was. When she is surprised and feels guilty about enjoying a friend’s birthday party, her mom wraps reassuring arms around her and says, “Don’t you think he’d want you to laugh, even now?” She gradually realizes that she can still enjoy the things that they used to do together and that the memories of John continue to make him part of their family. Always My Brother is a sensitive, realistic story about the process of grief, acceptance, and recovery. Phyllis Pollema-Cahill’s lovely illustrations bring readers right into the heart of Becky’s family as they struggle to move forward.
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This book touched the very center of my heart. I felt the sense of loss that Becky did with every turn of the page. This book deals with what it feels like to lose someone close to you at a young age. Appropriately worded to be understood at a grade school level I not only loved the gentle words used by Jean Reagan, but also felt the compassion come through in the illustrations by Phyllis Pollema Cahill.
This book is one I would recommend to any one who has a young child in their life who is dealing with grief. I think this book should be a must in every grade school library. I know as someone who dealt with this topic at a young age a book like this would have been wonderful.
Please visit Tilbury House for discussion points, classroom activities, literature links and further resources for using this book in the classroom.
Thank you to Natasha at Maw Books, where I won this autographed copy of this book. I am now donating this book to Harrison Elementary School in our town, in memory of my sister Tara, who died in a house fire when she was 5. Truly missed every day of my life. ♥