June 07, 2010

Wicked Cool Overlooked Books: LW's lists

The first Monday of the month, and time once again for book talking.

Not this month. (I'll do two books in July to make up for it.) Sadly, I'm a little short on my usual effervescence. Aside from getting ready for a week of company, and being a bit sad that I missed my sister's 8th grade graduation last Thursday, I'm in shock. Last Wednesday, a Mom I knew went to bed and went to sleep - and next morning, simply didn't wake up. Her eldest daughter, a high school freshman, had one more day of finals left. Her youngest, a ten year old, was looking forward to the end of school water slides trip. And just like that - everything has changed, for no discernible medical reason. Their mother was in her early forties.

In good times or bad -- there are books. If you've never visited any of Little Willow's booklists, you are doing yourself a disservice. The woman is organized. You can find lists of retold fairy tales, lists of "transition times" books, lists of books that feature kids with autism, and books that feature cats (Go, Bad Kitty!). Each of these lists is broken down by age or reading stage, or the simple Motion Picture Association Ratings like G, PG, and PG17.

Under the post Tough Topics for Teens, I found loads of subtitles. I clicked on Loss or Illness of Parent. While I've read a lot of the books there, I know there must be more, and possibly titles more appropriate for younger readers.

A little help? I know that eventually the number of people streaming through the house will slow, and the girls will have quiet time alone to think and grieve. If you were their Book Auntie (or Uncle) what books would you have sitting, ready for them?

Thanks for your help. And happy reading in June.


Colleen said...

Oh dear heavens. Oh Tanita. Oh, just, Oh dear heavens.

I don't even know what to say.

I'm so sorry for you and for your friend's family and just so bloody sorry. I'm so sorry.

I'm glad you recommended LW - she is amazing. As for me, I am all about serious issues at the column this month but Nothing But Ghosts by Beth Kephart, which I reviewed last year, comes to mind - a book not only about grieving the loss of a mother but also a bit Nancy Drewish (a mystery to preoccupy the protag through her grief). It's beautiful (it's Kephart!) so a good one to consider.


Little Willow said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with her family.

I lost a friend in a similar fashion in December. He was on vacation with his family. He went to sleep. He didn't wake up. He was 17 years old. Every time we saw each other, we spoke of books. He will forever be linked to one particular book series for me.

Thank you for linking to the lists. If you or the girls need additional recommendations, or you just someone to listen, I'm only an email away.

adrienne said...

I am so sorry to hear of this sadness. What a thing.

I started reading Meg Cabot after my husband died because I needed was something funny. Grief makes a person want to stop trying; humor reminds us that there are still wonderful things worth doing in the world. I did try reading a couple nonfiction books about coping with grief, but I found the true things they had to say (your life will never be the same, it's going to take you a really long time to get over this, etc.) quite alarming and upsetting.

So, something funny. Maybe even a funny movie or two. Or graphic novels. Grief also kills one's attention span.

a. fortis said...

Adrienne makes a great point. Sometimes the last thing you want to do is read about more grief...and in fact, sometimes it seems so inadequate and angering to read about others' grief.

I think graphic novels are a great suggestion. Or something very absorbing like a good fantasy series.

a. fortis said...

And, I'm sorry too. :( What a terrible and shocking thing to happen.

tanita davis said...

Colleen: Definitely Beth Kephart - what a great idea.

Little Willow: I'm so sorry - I remember you speaking of your friend. It's a shocker, isn't it. Thank you for offering your ear. xo

Jama: Thank you - especially for the prayers.

Adrienne: My brain is mushy - or I would have known that. YES, you're totally right. If you are going through Big Awful Crap, you certainly DO NOT want to read about someone going through Big Awful Crap as well -- at least not for a couple of years. I'm feeling Babymouse and some Violet on the Runway coming up. THANK YOU.

A.F.: Good point... which makes me think Sunny should have someone well-meaning give her books... that she doesn't want to read... hmm.

Charlotte said...

Aw gee. That is just not right.

Babymouse is probably just about the right sort of book...but I've never read them, and trying to put myself in that position, I wouldn't want to be reading any books with mothers in them at all...does Babymouse have a mother?

adrienne said...

Violet on the Runway and Babymouse both get my seal of approval. Good, escapist fiction. Ahhhhh.

Sarah is onto something with the fantasy, too. It deals with a lot of life-and-death issues, but it's all metaphorical and indirect, so it deals with the emotions without getting into the specifics.

Ethel Rohan said...

Tanita, I echo the condolences here. It is terrifying how quickly our lives can change, irreversibly. I'm sending you my best wishes and prayers, and also to your friend's family and loved ones. Hugs.

And I'm sorry you missed your sister's 8th grade graduation. I know all about distance and disappointment ...