Cover image for My father's words
Title:
My father's words
Summary:
"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... Perhaps with time, patience, and their father's gentle words in their hearts, hope will spark once more." -- Publisher's description.
Audience:
Ages 8-12.
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
135 pages ; 22 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 3.3.
Publisher:
Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Publication Date:
2018
ISBN:
9780062687692
Publication Information:
New York, NY : Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, [2018]

©2018
Call Number:
J MACLACH
Holds:
Copies:

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Call Number
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33607003413245 New Juvenile Fiction MACLACH
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Summary

Summary

Patricia MacLachlan, beloved author of the Newbery Medal-winning Sarah, Plain and Tall, has crafted another lyrical and touching novel for young readers about finding hope after the loss of a loved one.

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.

* Junior Library Guild Selection * Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year 2019 (9-12) *


Author Notes

Patricia MacLachlan was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming on March 3, 1938. She received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut in 1962 and taught English at a junior high school until 1979. She began writing picture books and novels at the age of thirty-five. Her works include The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt, Skylark, Caleb's Story, Grandfather's Dance, Three Names, All the Places to Love, Before You Came, Cat Talk, and Snowflakes Fall. She won the Golden Kite Award for Arthur, for the Very First Time and the 1986 Newbery Medal for Sarah, Plain and Tall.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

School Library Journal Review

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. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Key relationships in her own life inspired this characteristically taut and resonant novel by Newbery Medalist MacLachlan (Sarah, Plain and Tall). Life as Fiona has known and loved it comes to a screeching halt over runny eggs one morning when Fiona's psychologist father-her guiding light, singer of "Dona Nobis Pacem" and player of driveway basketball-dies in a car accident after swerving to avoid hitting a child. Since her overwhelmed mother has been pursuing a degree, it falls to Fiona to keep her suddenly withdrawn younger brother, Finn (and herself), afloat over the summer. She receives rock-solid help from Luke, a remarkably intuitive neighbor; Emma, the rescue dog to whom Finn reads and sings at the local shelter; and one of her father's former patients, who pays the doctor's kindness forward by calling Fiona for two minutes each week and passing on her dad's indelible sayings ("Let the whole thing float down the river on a little boat"). MacLachlan masterfully mingles core themes in this slim volume: the power of words and song, memories and family, the mutually redemptive human-canine bond, and "the eternal fitness of things." Ages 8-12. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (Oct.) c Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.