Lafleur, Suzanne. 2009. LOVE, AUBREY. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780385906869 [Suggested Grade Levels 4 - 8]
Without speaking directly to the documented five stages of grief, LeFleur has sensitively modeled the steps to healing through eleven year old Aubrey’s devastating experience of losing her father and little sister in a car accident. Aubrey’s mother, unstable from the loss, abandons Aubrey. Aubrey does her best to cover her Mom’s absence, but Gram, sensing something is not right, brings Aubrey to her home in Vermont. The day-to-day emotional rollercoaster is quite believable. Aubrey’s gradual progress is revealed in her letter writing. The people connected with Aubrey--Grams, Aubrey’s new friend Bridget, along with her family across the street, as well as the school counselor and others, all contribute to the grief recovery for Aubrey in a beautiful and sensitive way.
Aubrey’s flashbacks brought about by even the most mundane happening, are gut wrenching for the reader. LeFleur is not, however, overly melodramatic in presenting the struggles to cope. “Sometimes I wonder if life is all about one moment. [Mom said] Everything before … and after is about that one moment and …I am stuck.” “I had been stuck, too…but I had Gram …”
Grief recovery is a slow, seldom understood process. Depending on the particulars of the group or individual, explore expressions of grief. Review and identify the five stages in Aubrey’s story. Explore through the story’s characters what ways we can be supportive to someone who has a loss. Counselors can be a great resource.
GriefNet has a Kid sight where artwork and poetry are posted. http://kidsaid.com/
Other books dealing with loss of a family member:
Beard, Phillip. DEAR ZOE. ISBN 9780452287402
Magorian, Michelle. GOOD NIGHT, MR. TOM. ISBN 9780064401746
By Susie Demarest