My Father's Words
October 02, 2018
Declan O’Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was "Dona Nobis Pacem," “Grant Us Peace.” His family loved him deeply and always knew they were loved in return.
But a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O’Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief?
At the suggestion of their friend Luke, Fiona and Finn volunteer at an animal rescue shelter where they meet two sweet dogs who are in need of comfort, too. Perhaps with time, patience, and their father’s gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more.
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Like MacLachlan's recent works (Jubilee, The Poets's Dog, Just Dance), this is a brief, poetic book with a simple and affecting story. The print is large, and the books seem perfect for classroom or betime read alouds by caring adults who can help young readers process the sadness in the lives of the characters. In this case, the book is a very personal one-- MacLachlan had a similar experience with a patient of her psychologist husband's who continues to talk to her after her husband's death.
There's no shortage of middle grade literature dealing with the death of one or both parents, but this is a gentle book to address the younger end of the spectrum which might not be ready for longer books like Erica S. All Three Stooges, Stevens' The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley or Gephart's Death by Toilet Paper.
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