My Father’s Words

Dear Reader,

You said that you are looking for more novels about serious topics written at an easy reading level. You already know that Patricia MacLachlan’s novels are poetry written as prose. You already know that her stories heal invisible wounds. And you know she addresses life’s biggest questions. So, here is another novel for you:

MacLachlan, Patricia. My Father’s Words. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2018.

Fiona and Finn love their father. Declan sang songs as he played basketball with them. He patiently offered words of wisdom when life was difficult. But now he is gone, killed in a car accident. Their mother buries herself in studies for a degree. Finn stops speaking. Fiona, the narrator of the story, struggles to help them all. Luke, a friend, suggests volunteering at an animal shelter. Talking to the dogs, reading to them, singing to them, and taking them on walks slowly eases their grief. Slowly, comfort comes as they remember their father’s words. 

The large font, wide margins, and wide spaces between the lines of print will enable you to read the 134 pages within a few days. When you’re finished, come tell me the words of wisdom you will keep in your memory. 

wishing you a thoughtful day,
Ms. R. 

Links to Youtube performances of Declan’s favourite song: Grant Us Peace and Dona Nobis Pacem

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak whispers the o’er-fraught heart and bids it break.”
William Shakespeare

More stories of grief

More easy-to-read novels

 

Follow me…

Dowell, Frances O’Roark. Trouble the Water. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2016.

An old yellow dog brings Cassie and Wendell – a black girl and a white boy – together in racially segregated Kentucky in 1953. Buddy leads them to a ramshackle cabin in the woods where two invisible boys are waiting to cross the nearby river. Partly historical fiction, partly a ghost story, this memorable novel by a thought-provoking writer is highly recommended for readers 10 to 15 years old.

More stories of African Americans

More historical novels

More dog stories

More stories set all over the U.S.A.

P.S. Do you know the story of how Jesus healed the sick man by the pool of Bethesda? The man who never got to the pool in time to be healed after an angel ‘troubled the water’? You might like to read about it in John 5 after you read Dowell’s story. Then you might like to think about the Pharisees in the Bible and the townspeople in the story. And think about that pool at the end of the novel. Might you be called to be an angel?

Making life happier…

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl and the Great Big Baby. Toronto: Groundwood Books/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Fergus, Maureen. Buddy and Earl Go Exploring. Toronto: Groundwood/House of Anansi Press, 2016.

Buddy, a dog, and Earl, a hedgehog, continue the adventures they started in Buddy and Earl. These joyful picture books provide unique perspectives on everyday life and will delight both the adults who read them aloud and the children who listen.

More picture books HERE.

More humorous stories HERE.

 

Explore!

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Frank and Lucky Get Schooled. New York: Greenwillow Books, 2016.
Frank and Lucky – a boy and a dog – have fun learning together. Botany. Entomology. Chemistry. Astronomy. Taxonomy. Reading. Math. History. Art. Geography. Foreign Languages. And Hospitality. Together, they discover that they are learning inside, outside, everywhere they go. A joyous story for all ages to enjoy together.

More dog stories HERE

How I Learned Geography

Shulevitz, Uri. How I Learned Geography. New York: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008. 
A young boy uses his imagination to travel the world in this picture book recommended for readers 8 to 14 years old. An afterword that provides historical details about the acclaimed author’s life including his childhood as a refugee.

More picture book memoirs HERE

Moving House

Stead, Philip C. Lenny & Lucy. New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2015.
Peter and his dog Harold move to a new home. How can they feel safe in a new house? How can they find friends in their new neighbourhood? Another wonderful collaboration between Philip and Erin Stead, author and illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Highly recommended for imaginative readers of all ages.

More stories about moving HERE.

Celebrating Life

“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.” – Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist

Maclachlan, Patricia. The Poet’s Dog. New York: Katherine Tegen Books, 2016.
Are we really loved? Will will be remembered when we’re gone? Who will save us when we’re lost?
This short easy-to-read novel told from the point of view of an Irish wolfhound portrays the abiding bond between people and animals. It demonstrates the power of poetry and the mysterious connections that carry us through hardships. A philosophical novella highly recommended for readers and listeners 6 years old and up. [Blizzards; Brothers and sisters; Dogs Grief; Human-animal relationships; Loss (Psychological); Poets]

More dog stories HERE 

“Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” – Plato, Greek philosopher