Sunday, January 19, 2020

~ MMGM MY FATHER'S WORDS ~

~ MARVELOUS MIDDLE-GRADE
MONDAY CONTEMPORARY
FICTION FEATURE ~
--  'MY FATHER'S WORDS'  --
AUTHOR PATRICIA MacLACHLAN


 
ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:
Declan O’Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was "Dona Nobis Pacem"--"Grant Us Peace." His family loved him deeply and always knew they were loved in return.

But a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O’Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. What words are there to guide them through such overwhelming grief?

At the suggestion of their friend Luke, Fiona and Finn volunteer at an animal rescue shelter where they meet two sweet dogs who are in need of comfort, too. Perhaps with time, patience, and their father’s gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR {from Goodreads}:
Patricia MacLachlan was born on the prairie, and to this day carries a small bag of prairie dirt with her wherever she goes to remind her of what she knew first. She is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb's Story; and Three Names, illustrated by Mike Wimmer. She lives in western Massachusetts.

LINK TO PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR:

MY THOUGHTS:
I usually don't reveal my thoughts about a book I'm sharing until the end of the review, but this book is an exception. In fact, this book is exceptional in every way, in my opinion.

I almost did not check this book out of the library when I read that Fiona and Finn's father is killed in an accident and that the story was about grief. I have read so many books about grief in the middle-grade and adult genres during the past few years I wondered if I needed to--or even wanted to--read another.

I'm glad I did not let my negativity stop me from checking out this book and enjoying it as much as I did.

I fell in love with this author's work when I was a student teacher reading Sarah, Plain and Tall to the fourth grade class with whom I was working. I have always loved historical fiction, and this was the first piece of children's historical literature I had read for many years. I'm not sure if I loved it more than the students or if they loved it more, but we all loved the book!

My Father's Words may be the most touching middle-grade story I have ever read. I laughed, I cried, and I cried some more . . .

The author's clean, focused style of writing lends itself to the communication of important life lessons throughout the story. Grief, forgiveness, understanding, personal growth, tolerance and acceptance, friendship, kindness, compassion, caring concern, and love are the threads that weave together this beautiful story.

The scenes of the main characters interacting with a variety of dogs at the animal rescue shelter are delightful! The wisdom the children garner from their interactions with these lovable animals is valuable and essential to the healing process for the people and the canines involved.

The ending to the story is inspiring and realistic. I believe children will love how things are resolved for some of the dogs and all of the humans.

I believe this book would make an excellent read-aloud for classroom teachers, librarians, and families. The story opens up lots of opportunities for discussion and sharing.

Highly-recommended for fans of animal fiction, contemporary fiction, family-oriented fiction, and realistic fiction.

I borrowed this book from the 'New Book' fiction shelf in the children's collection of the local public library.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.


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4 comments:

  1. I'm also a big fan of Patricia's books but have not read this one. Thanks for the background and for your thoughts. I'm going to look for a copy tomorrow at my local library. Happy MMGM!

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  2. I read and loved this latest MacLachlan story. It is powerful and inspiring! I am glad to see you give it some more book love!

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  3. I have loved everything I've read by the very prolific Patricia MacLachlan. I just ordered this from my library. Thanks for telling me about it.

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  4. This book sounds wonderful! I loved another book by Patricia MacLachlan, Fly Away, so I'm sure I'll love this one as well! Thanks for the great review!

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