Swanson, Julie. 2004. GOING FOR THE RECORD. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 0802852734 [Suggested Grade Levels 6 and up]
Leah is a hard working determined teenager and a talented soccer player who finally earns a spot on the Midwest Regional Team in hopes a making the National Team. As she’s feeling on top of the world, she’s hit with the shocking news of her dad’s recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and he is given three months to live. Leah is faced with the tough decision to continue pursuing her dream that she has sacrificed so much for or take the time off to help her family care for her dying father. This narrative story is incredibly truthful about the pains of relationships and the many challenges dealing with a less than perfect family along with life and death lessons. Her relationship with her school friends and boyfriend are threatened when her dad’s illness begins to consume her life. Her now limited social life forces her to make some challenging and unpopular decisions, but she knows the right thing to do. This book offers the reader the chance to explore the importance of making a difference in the world and in people’s lives. This is a true-to-life spiritual story that will win over the hearts of readers.
Invite children to talk about their families. Also express the importance of getting along with your family even if they are less than perfect.
Invite the group to share if they have ever had a sick family member. Prompt questions on how to pull together as a family when someone is sick. Encourage the children to create get well cards for anyone they know is ill.
Cleary, Beverly. DEAR MR. HENSHAW. ISBN 0380709589
Newman, Leslea. HACHIKO WAITS. ISBN 0805073361
By Kim Southwell