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Our Dad Died: The True Story of Three Kids Whose Lives Changed Paperback


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Pub (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575421356
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575421353
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.3 x 0.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,621,356 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3-7-When Amy and Allie were eight and David was four, their father died unexpectedly in his sleep. For the next two years, with their mother's help and encouragement, they kept journals about their reactions to their loss. The chapters are organized chronologically from the time they learned the news through their return to school and other activities. As time passed, the intervals between entries lengthened. At the end of each chapter, the children provide additional thoughts, as they look back five years later. Their love for their father and the closeness they continue to feel to him shine through the pages. Topics such as dealing with relatives and friends, visiting the cemetery, and having their mom date are incorporated into their observations. Their direct and honest comments reveal their own processes of grieving and their interactions with adults who are trying to help them while coping with the loss themselves. As such, the book is a valuable resource not only for children who have lost a parent but also for the adults who interact with them. Jill Krementz's How It Feels When a Parent Dies (Knopf, 1981) offers perspectives of 18 different children and young adults who each share their thoughts in a few pages; the Dennisons' reflections over time provide a different and complementary approach.
Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From the Publisher

"Our Dad Died" has been selected by the New York Public Library for the Books for the Teen Age 2004 list.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jon Henshaw on February 21, 2004
Format: Paperback
Death of a loved one is always difficult. However, experiencing the death of a parent as a child is not only difficult, it can also be quite confusing. For most children, the idea of death is a surreal concept, often void of context and reality. Additionally, the manner in which most family and friends behave towards children (after they have lost their parent) can be equally as confusing.
Our Dad Died: The True Story of Three Kids Whose Lives Changed, approaches the death of a parent in a new way. Instead of advice from a noted expert, we get a story from three siblings who kept journals after their dad's death. This unique approach to teaching children about death is refreshing. Especially since it came from those who actually experienced it, instead of from experts who have only observed it.
The young writers invite the reader into their world. A world of hurt, anger, laughter, and annoyance. The book is written for both children and adults. Children will be able to relate to the style and content of their writing, while adults will quickly pick up on the undertones of their experiences. The three young writers take the reader from the beginning of their dad's death, onto his funeral and burial, and then through the two following years after his death. They also recap moments with their family, including a chapter dedicated solely to their grandparents.
David, one of the child authors, offers a glimpse of what it was like to go to his dad's funeral:
"It was hard to believe that Dad was in the coffin in the front of the chapel. The cover was closed so we couldn't see him. But I knew he was right there. I asked Mom if we could open it and just give him one last hug and kiss, but we couldn't.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Our Dad Died, is a powerful and sensitive look at the experiences of three children who lost their beloved Dad. It traces their feelings of grief, sadness and resentment as they go through the grieving process. It is written with clarity and thoughtfulness giving the reader a look into the minds and emotions of the children. This book is written by children and I can see it serving a great need in helping other children realize that they are not alone in experiencing this horrible situaton. I highly recommend this book to parents, teachers and grief counselors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 4, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book related the death of the children's father and their observations and experiences as they went through various scenarios during their grieving process. It was eye-opening to see how kids perceived different events, what their thoughts were about how adults treated them, different situations, etc. Throughout the book, the children keep a positive message that there are good times ahead, that one who suffers a loss is not alone, and that whatever one is feeling is okay. I thought this was excellent as a companion and helpful aid to other children suffering such a loss, as well as for all adults dealing with kids in this situation, either professionally or personally.
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By J. Eisenberg on January 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
So sad that this book seems out of print. It's a great book that addressed many issues of grief and mourning. I think the authors do a particularly good job of describing the way that well meaning adults miss the mark when trying to help kids with death. I'd strongly recommend this book to any family with kids who have experienced the loss of a parent, or even a close friend or other family member. I hope is will become more available as it is a real gift. I bought it for my step-daughter who lost her mother.
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