|My father's words|
Author: MacLachlan, Patricia
Two children find comfort working at a rescue center for dogs, as they search for ways to cope after their father's sudden death.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.30
Points: 2.0 Quiz: 197533
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.50
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 75876
Kirkus Reviews (+) (08/01/18)
School Library Journal (07/01/18)
Booklist (+) (09/01/18)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/10/18)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 07/01/2018 Gr 3–5—Fiona O'Brien and her brother, Finn, have a wonderful family in a home filled with love and humor. All that changes when their father, Declan, is killed in an automobile crash after he swerves to miss a child chasing a ball in the street. Fiona writes, "The days move slowly. Nights, too." With their mother returning to classes, Fiona takes responsibility for her little brother and tasks herself with finding ways to make Finn feel better. The answer comes via a notice from a local animal shelter that is looking for volunteers to help care for abandoned dogs. Fiona, Finn, and their friend Luke begin working there. Luke and Fiona walk the dogs while Finn reads to a depressed pup whose owner recently died. Slowly, Fiona and Finn find peace. The story's first-person narration by Fiona offers an immediate connection to readers, and sections of the book in a different typeface and font highlight her own personal reflections that are apart from the plot, which lends a solid authenticity to the gently flowing story. VERDICT This heartwarming title from an acclaimed author is a solid choice for school and public libraries seeking new bibliotherapy titles for children on loss and grief.—Anne Jung-Mathews, Plymouth State University, NH - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2018 *Starred Review* Newbery-medalist MacLachlan is known for writing heart-tugging stories in spare style, as she did in Sarah, Plain and Tall? (1985). And that’s what she does here as readers meet Fiona and Finn and, briefly, their psychologist father. But before the first chapter ends, Declan O’Brien is dead, hit by a truck as he swerved to avoid a toddler in the street. The family attempts to right itself, with Mrs. O’Brien continuing her course work and Fiona trying to fill in. But Finn is struggling. Thomas, a patient of Dr. O’Brien, asks if he can call Fiona for 10 minutes each week and tell her something about her father. It’s Thomas who suggests Finn find someone or something to help, and it’s next-door neighbor Luke who takes them to volunteer at the animal shelter. Finn’s special charge is Emily, a dog whose owner has died. He takes it upon himself to figure out what Emily needs and where she belongs, and in saving Emily, he begins to save himself. None of these children seem much like real kids. In word or deed, all display wisdom far beyond their years, and Dr. O’Brien is perfection personified. Yet there’s nothing cloying here, nor does this purity affect the story’s emotion or the way it connects to readers. Instead, it testifies to the resilience of life. Deeply moving and uplifting in unexpected ways. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.