Friday, November 6, 2009

Blog Tour/Review (with Prizes): Always My Brother

Today we have the honor of being a stop on the blog tour for a wonderful book, Always My Brother, by Jean Reagan (illustrated by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill).

Always My Brother (Hardcover), by Jean Reagan. Becky and her brother John were best friends (and avid soccer players). "But that was all before--before John died." Beautifully illustrated, Always My Brother tells the story of Becky's grief in the ensuing days. It is a thoughtful, honest tale of grief, in language able to be understood by children. "When they left, life went back to normal. Only it wasn't normal at all. At meals, I stared at John's empty chair. When we had his favorite--pizza with pineapple--I felt so sad, I ran from the table. And slammed my door. Hard." "On my first day back at school, my friends looked away. I guess they didn't know what to say. I didn't either." Ultimately, Becky begins to heal. "By the time winter came again, I didn't feel so sad when I saw pictures of John. I even smiled while I looked at the one of us in the tub." One day, she actually laughs again; another day, she manages to sing; and, eventually, she returns to the soccer field. I love that the story does not trivialize the magnitude of grief, anger, and sadness resulting from the death of a close relative, and yet ultimately manages to convey a message of hope about the healing process. Although we all hope that our children stay shielded from grief, I'm glad to know that this book exists. It would be a lovely gift for a child that experiences the loss of a loved one, certainly of a sibling, but also of a parent or grandparent.

Blog Comment Prizes

Tilbury House has offered some prizes in connection with the blog tour.

They will draw 7 lucky winners from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts (Nov.1-13) to win one of the following prizes:

- A copy of Always My Brother signed by author Jean Reagan (5 available)*
- A set of 10 winter notecards with art by illustrator Phyllis Pollema-Cahill (2 available)

* Winners are welcome to designate a grief center, school, or library to receive their signed copy in their place.
All winners will be announced after the tour. US/Canada addresses only, please.

Twitter Prize
Everyone that tweets about the tour using the hashtag #AlwaysTour from November 1-13 will be entered to win a set of three children's books from Tilbury House — your choice! Winners will be announced after the tour, US/Canada addresses only, please.


The other dates on the blog tour are:
Nov. 1 — Welcome from Tilbury House

Nov. 2 — Griefcase

Nov. 3 — Author Jean Reagan's website

Nov. 4 — Healing the Grieving Heart

Nov. 5 — Grief Speaks

Nov. 6 — Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile (that's us)

Nov. 7 — heartfeltwords4kids

Nov. 8 — I Did Not Know What to Say

Nov. 9 — Moziesme

Nov. 10 — Anastasia Suen

Nov. 11 – Maw Books

Nov. 12 — Author Emily Wing Smith

Nov. 13 — Bri Meets Books

Discussion Question

Do you know of any other children's books about grief and loss? Did you have to deal with loss at a young age? Would a book like this have been a comfort to you?

Disclosure: I was provided an unbound advance copy of Always My Brother in order to write this review. Purchasing products by clicking through the links in this post to Amazon.com will provide us a modest commission through our affiliate relationship with Amazon.com.

5 comments:

Christy said...

We have not had to deal with loss of a person, but we did lose our dog last year and that was incredibly difficult for all of us. The book "Dog Heaven" by Cynthia Rylant helped a lot.

MJ said...

I love The Fall of Freddie Leaf by Leo Buscaglia. I read it to my kinder kids. If I win, I'd give this to the guidance counselor at my school.

mj.coward[at]gmail.com

Heather said...

This would be a great book to have at the library where I work. We don't have enough books about grief for kids.

jeanreagan said...

Thanks so much for hosting my book, ALWAYS MY BROTHER.

By the way, two books I highly recommend for loss of a pet are SAYING GOODBYE TO LULU (dog) and GOODBYE, MOUSIE.

Jean Reagan

KATE COOMBS said...

This does sound good! --Kate Coombs (Book Aunt)