Avery, Tom My Brother's Shadow, 161 pgs. Schwartz & Wade Books, 2014. Language: G (0 swears) Mature Content: PG (mentions suicide) Violence: PG
It's been a year since Kaia's brother died and she's been trying to get through one day at a time. She feels "frozen" inside and won't talk. Her friends try to help but eventually drift away, her mom is drowning her sorrow in alcohol, and at night she dreams of her brother. One day a new boy shows up at the school and she is intrigued. He's a little bit odd and won't talk to anyone but he listens to her and, for the first time since her brother died, she is ready to talk.
This is a simple, heartfelt story about loss and discovering that grief takes time to heal, and not only do people sometimes not know what to say, sometimes they say dumb things. The story fell a little flat for me, but it does address these issues and it could be given to someone in a similar situation, or even used in a class setting.
EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Reviewer: RB