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My Father's Words

My Father's Words

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My Father's Words

avaliações:
4.5/5 (2 avaliações)
Comprimento:
74 página
47 minutos
Lançado em:
Oct 2, 2018
ISBN:
9780062687722
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

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. This middle grade novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.

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) *

Lançado em:
Oct 2, 2018
ISBN:
9780062687722
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Patricia MacLachlan 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; Edward’s Eyes; The True Gift; Waiting for the Magic; White Fur Flying; and Fly Away. She lives in western Massachusetts.

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Amostra do Livro

My Father's Words - Patricia MacLachlan

Publisher

Chapter 1

The Eternal Fitness of Things

My father, Declan O’Brien, beloved shrink to many people, sings as he makes omelets for our breakfast.

My father is not fond of my word shrink. He prefers psychologist. But he is patient with me.

Do you talk in your sessions? I once asked him.

He smiled.

We talk, or not, he said.

I’m not sure what that means, but one day I may know the meaning of his words.

He sings his favorite egg-making song, his favorite hiking song, his favorite basketball-playing song—called Dona Nobis Pacem.

"Dona nobis pacem, pacem.

Dona nobis pacem."

My father’s voice is sweet and he sings in tune.

The eggs will be too runny. He always makes them too runny, and he knows my younger brother, Finn, and I will slip them back into the frying pan until the eggs are hard. Finn once skimmed a stack of hard omelets across the backyard like Frisbees, evidence of his second-grade sense of humor.

Passive aggressive? I suggest to my father, who has taught me something about psychology.

I know passive aggressive means he might be doing the nice thing of cooking us eggs, while not making them the way we like.

My father is impressed. He smiles at me and shakes his head.

It’s the eternal fitness of things, Fiona, my father says, peering at me.

He grew up with runny eggs, says Finn.

How do you know that? I ask.

He tells me things, says Finn. Because I ask him.

What’s that? The eternal fitness of things? I ask my father.

His cell phone rings. Trouble calling.

I don’t hear the answer to the eternal fitness of things. Not then. Not ever from my father.

My father sets down the phone and puts on his jacket.

Emergency, he says quickly. Tell your mom when she gets home, Fiona. She’s in class.

My mother is getting a degree in something undefined. Somewhere between philosophy, dance, and making brushed-wool dolls for preschoolers. She has been at it for two years, and my father has made his appointments around her schedule.

Once when Finn, my father, and I were playing basketball in the driveway, I made a joke of my mother studying early childhood.

Kids are kids, I said.

My father did not smile. He was serious, and I knew it.

He grabbed the basketball from me.

We can learn more from children than we sometimes learn from adults. They are open. No prejudgments. Your mother knows that.

He made a perfect jump shot into the basket.

Swish, he said happily. Soon my jump shot will be as fine as your mother’s.

I listened. And now when I look at little children, I think of my father’s words. Children are wise, but they don’t know how wise. And sometimes they don’t have words for what they know.

My father hurries to the car and backs out of the driveway.

On the way to his clinic a truck driver hits him as my father swerves to avoid a child chasing a ball into the street.

By the time the phone call came, my father was dead.

Dr. O’Brien died on impact, Mrs. O’Brien, said the doctor to me, thinking I was my mother. For some reason the phone was on speakerphone, so Finn heard what I heard.

I couldn’t protect him.

Mrs. O’Brien? the doctor asked softly. He told me more details, but I stopped hearing.

I slowly hung up the phone.

Finn’s face was very pale. Tears began to slip down his cheeks.

Without knowing what I was doing or why I was doing it, I took down two white plates.

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4.5
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  • (5/5)
    I buy every new chapter book that Patricia MacLachlan writes. She is a wonder of putting heart into short novels with just the right words. Fiona and Finn O'Brien remember their father through his sayings and move through their grief over his death with the help of two rescue dogs. Spare and meaningful, though not maudlin. The song "Dona Nobis Pacem" is one of my favorites and MacLachlan uses it perfectly in her tale. This is a book to be read over and pondered.
  • (4/5)
    Beautifully plotted and written. A delicate and often mishandled set of subjects. Authors who cover death, and children's reaction to it, often stray into schmaltzy contrived territory. The same thing happens with stories about the magical properties of human relationships with dogs. MacLachlan skirts along the edge of these tropes, but never falls in. The result is a truly feeling and valuable story for any child or adult, alike.
    As an aside - I picked this up from the NEW selections at our library, because our librarian is a rock star, and her ordering choices have been brilliant more often than not. It is a true joy to grab a title you had no awareness of, or intention to read, and then have it surprise you to tears when you read it at home. Thank you Leigh Anne :)