Friday, October 15, 2010

Jake by Audrey Couloumbis

Jake and his Mom are walking to the car after doing some shopping at the mall after Christmas when he turns around to talk to her and finds her missing - where did she go?

Random House Books for Young Readers has published this book in hardcover.  It's written for ages 8-12.  They graciously sent me a copy for review.

Jake is a young man who isn't very taken with sports, but does do Karate with his Mom.  He has gold fish for pets (they don't bother his allergies).  And it's just he and his Mom.  His father died early in his life and he doesn't remember all that much about him.

His mother fell in the icy snow and has broken her leg and must go to the hospital.  It doesn't appear that she will be recovered enough to come home by Christmas day.  So the social worker at the hospital tries to find out who to call to come and get Jake.  All his mother's friends are out of town.  His grandfather is in another city and he doesn't know him.  So their neighbor in the apartment across the hall takes him.

This author knows children.  When they tell Jake that his mother can't see him yet because she's been sedated, he asks what that means.  When the lady says that means she's been put to sleep, he immediately remembers taking an animal to the vet to have it put down and thinks his mother is dead!  Children take every thing literally and Jake was horrified until someone explained that she was only sleeping, not dead.

Jake's Granddad arrives the next day and it's quite an adventure for the two of them to learn about each other and learn to get along.  Plus Granddad has a dog, which scares Jake.  Ms. Couloumbis does an excellent job of showing the various emotions between the two.   The next door neighbor lady is sort of a mediator between the two, but she sides with Jake more than Granddad.

I found it a very entertaining read, and young readers should have lots of fun reading about Jake's adventures, worries, and how he and Granddad work on solving all of them.  The story demonstrates you can still have a family, even if it is a non-traditional one.  All it takes is love and caring.

I'd recommend this book for any child who enjoys reading about families or is experiencing some change in their life or their family.  It's a positive book that will make them feel better about any change they may be dreading.

This book is available in your local bookstores now.  Why not introduce your child to Jake?  

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