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Blue Eyes Better

by Ruth Wallace-Brodeur

Published by Dutton, 2002
106 pages
ISBN: 0-525-46836-6

Ages 10 - 14

This insightful treatment of the impact of death on a family is centered on eleven-year-old Tessa, whose older brother, Scott, has died in a drunk driving accident. Tessa's mom begins to withdraw after the tragedy-at first just emotionally, and then literally as she retreats to their summer place alone. As Tessa and her dad carry on at home, Tessa feels anger and resentment at both her brother and her mom, even as she misses them both. She's especially confused when she dwells on the things about Scott she didn't like -- shouldn't she only think good thoughts about him now that he's gone? She finds help and solace from an understanding teacher and an elderly neighbor, and in fits and starts her family begins to heal. There are no huge swings of emotion in this even-handed novel, just quiet grief and gradual emergence. Tessa learns that intense sorrow doesn't dissipate quickly, but with time and honesty, her family has hopes of once again being whole. CCBC categories: Fiction For Children; Fiction For Young Adults; Understanding Oneself And Others.  © Cooperative Children's Book Center


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