Dear Reader, You’ll like this book. Love, Aubrey

February 20, 2010 at 11:08 am

Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur; published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, New York, 2009; 262 pages.

Aubrey, age 11 going on 12, is self-reliant.  She can survive on her own: cheese and crackers, Spaghetti-Os, cereal and milk, and a new pet fish named Sammy; she won’t answer the phone or the door, then no one will know that she is alone.  It is in this survival mode that her Gram finds her then carries her away from Virginia to Vermont.  Following a horrific car accident that killed her father and sister, Aubrey’s mother awoke one morning and simply disappeared.  In Vermont, with a protective Gram, Aubrey learns that it’s okay to depend on someone else, whether it’s her Gram or her best friend next door, Bridget, or the weirdest boy at school, Marcus.  In a beautifully executed subplot, we learn about the physical and psychological aspects of grief, especially through a series of letters she writes to her sister’s imaginary friend, Jilly, and then to the family that she misses so dearly.

My most beloved practicum supervisor included this book in her list of favorite reads for 2009.  I can see why.  Although the book is about a tween, I would recommend it to just about anyone.  The themes of interdependence, overcoming loss, and what constitutes a family are universal and LaFleur does a remarkable job of making them all accessible to the reader.  Although this book is probably intended for upper elementary aged readers, I would include it for middle schoolers and even high schoolers (one resource I checked recommended this as a YA book).  Adults should read it to get a perspective on children and grief.

Just like Peace, Locomotion, I think this book would make a valuable resource for teaching children about corresponding.  It could be used to preface a program about journaling or writing letters.  Also, it absolutely needs to be included in a pathfinder or display about overcoming grief.

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Entry filed under: Realistic Fiction. Tags: , , .

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