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Bri Meets Books

Children's and YA literature reviews.

always-my-brotherI’m helping end the blog tour for Always My Brother today.   Always My Brother by Jean Reagan is a new book on a sensitive subject for children: death. As a bookseller, there’s a few topics you’re always asked for: books on new siblings and death.  I’m currently watching my family through the end stages of grief, and it’s such an intangible force that hits you out of nowhere. Some days you’re good, and feel relatively normal and then you see something that reminds you of them, and you’re right back again.  Children don’t necessarily understand grief, I know I didn’t when I was younger, and it’s nice to see a book address this issue.

Always My Brother is about Becky and the loss of her brother, John.   Becky and John are inseparable, whether playing soccer, or running around with their dog, Toby.  And when they walk home, they walk “not touching, but with our shadows holding hands.”  When she loses a game, John makes her laugh with a silly knock-knock joke.  Then John dies.  Becky doesn’t know how to react.  Nothing’s fun anymore – not soccer, not pizza with her family. Her friends don’t know what to say.   But as the time passes, Becky finds it a little easier to look at pictures of John and doesn’t feel guilty when she has fun.

Always My Brother is a tender look at a sobering subject and a realistic portrayal of death’s affects on children.  It’s a sweet title that teaches children that although somebody they love may be gone, they’re never forgotten, and that life can eventually go on after a loss.  Like MAW Books points out, the book’s cover image is a little awkward, with the faux polaroid look, but the images inside by Phyllis Pollema-Cahill are lovely, soft and seem appropriate from the topic with their gentle coloring and look.

Stop by the other sites on the tour!


Leave a comment and be entered!

7 lucky winners will be drawn from all of those who leave comments on the participating tour posts (Nov.1-13) to win one of the following prizes:

– A copy of Always My Brother signed by author Jean Reagan (5 available)
– A set of 10 winter notecards with art by illustrator Phyllis Pollema-Cahill (2 available)

* Winners are welcome to designate a grief center, school, or library to receive their signed copy in their place.
All winners will be announced after the tour. US/Canada addresses only, please.

Twitter Prize
Everyone that tweets about the tour using the hashtag #AlwaysTour from November 1-13 will be entered to win a set of three children’s books from Tilbury House — your choice! Winners will be announced after the tour, US/Canada addresses only, please.

Blog Tour Schedule

Nov. 1 — Welcome from Tilbury House –
Nov. 2 — Griefcase –
Nov. 3 — Author Jean Reagan’s website —
Nov. 4 — Healing the Grieving Heart  –
Nov. 5 — Grief Speaks –
Nov. 6 — Chronicles of an Infant Bibliophile –
Nov. 7 — heartfeltwords4kids –
Nov. 8 — I Did Not Know What to Say –
Nov. 9 — Moziesme –
Nov. 10 — Anastasia Suen –
Nov. 11 – Maw Books –
Nov. 12 — Author Emily Wing Smith –
Nov. 13 — Bri Meets Books –


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