Sunday, January 22, 2006
You Are Not Alone: Teens Talk About Life After the Loss of a Parent
Hughes, Lynn B. 2005. YOU ARE NOT ALONE: TEENS TALK ABOUT LIFE AFTER THE LOSS OF A PARENT. New York: Scholastic. ISBN 0439585902 [Suggested Grade Levels 8 and up]
Written by the founder and director of Comfort Zone Camp, the book provides guidance and reassurance to teens who are struggling with grief. Chapters that deal with themes such as “Grief Stinks,“ “Feeling Different from Others,“ “Living with Loss,” and “Going Forward, Moving On,” use words and advice from teens themselves in hopes that other readers will find peace from their advice. Many of the teens Hughes talked to lost parents in 9/11. In sharing their feelings, fourteen-year old Eamon, who lost his father says that “the hardest thing . . . is that it was so sudden” (26), and fifteen year-old Hilary who also lost her father thinks that “it’s not fair. . . We didn’t do anything to make this happen, it just did . . . It’s fate” (32). Also those that have lost a parent to cancer talk about how the process of watching someone die over time is heart-wrenching, but at the same time the teens feel lucky, as fourteen year-old Beth describes: “My dad was sick for quite a while with a brain tumor . . . I was the only person in the room when my dad died. I feel so grateful . . . ” (60).
This book is important because it lets readers know that “they will get over it, but it will take time” (187). The teens are told to remember that “it is not their fault.” Keep the tissues handy while reading this.
Readers who want to understand what friends are going through can find another friend and discuss what they can do to help their friends.
Other books that deal with the loss of a parent:
Fitzgerald, Helen. THE GRIEVING TEEN: A GUIDE FOR TEENAGERS AND THEIR FRIENDS. ISBN 0684868040
Grollman, Earl A. STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT DEATH FOR TEENAGERS: HOW TO COPE WITH LOSING SOMEONE YOU LOVE. ISBN 0807025011
By Paige A Poe