Sorry for Your Loss

Sorry for Your Loss cover
Sorry for Your Loss by Joanne Levy

By Joanne Levy
Orca, 2021
264 pages

Ages 9-13

Evie is teased by other middle school girls at her Jewish private school because of her parents’ work–they run a funeral parlor; work that Evie is interested in pursuing someday. She meets Oren when her parents ask her to sit with him while they help his uncle plan the service for Oren’s parents, who were killed in a car accident. Evie doesn’t know what to say to Oren, but Oren isn’t interested in talking; in fact he hasn’t talked since the accident. Oren’s uncle later arranges for Oren, who is Evie’s age, to spend summer days at Evie’s. Evie talks enough for the both of them in public (a trait she is aware of but can’t easily curb), and they text to communicate. The two develop something that isn’t, Evie insists, a friendship, because she’s sworn off friends. Oren’s fascination with what happens at the funeral parlor is one way he’s starting to process his grief, but it’s spending time with Evie and her family, for whom talking about feelings and providing comfort and support to the grieving may not be easy but is always something they’re willing to do, that has the biggest impact, while Evie discovers Oren is a true friend after all. Varied Jewish traditions and beliefs around life and death are an essential part of this story featuring two singular, quirkily realistic kids, both white, whose burgeoning friendship is a delight in a sometimes funny, always moving story. ©2021 Cooperative Children’s Book Center