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Sometimes We Were Brave Hardcover – January 1, 2010


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Sometimes We Were Brave + Love, Lizzie: Letters to a Military Mom + Night Catch
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Lexile Measure: 650L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (January 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159078586X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590785867
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 9.1 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,361,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2—This story addresses the difficulties associated with a parent's absence. Jerome tells how much he and his dog miss his mother when her job as a sailor takes her away from home, even though his dad takes good care of him. Sometimes he is happy. At other times, though, Jerome and Duffy are afraid, act out at school, or have accidents. Bedwetting is handled in a calm manner. Dad says, "That's okay, Jerome. That's why God invented washing machines and bathtubs." Jerome worries about himself and Duffy, who acts as something of a surrogate for Jerome's own experiences. The text is positive about Dad, but the watercolor illustrations oddly distance him. He is rarely shown with Jerome and never with the whole family. The focus is on Jerome, Duffy, and Mom almost exclusively. The pictures reflect the sentimental tone by showing everything as clean, pretty, and sunny. Even the difficult times do not appear very threatening. In a storm scene Jerome is asleep; when he gets in trouble at school, the picture is of him sitting in the principal's office rather than the fight itself. The story ends with Jerome anticipating rather than experiencing his mother's homecoming. By not having a tidy conclusion, the author leaves the story a bit open and more relatable for children who are also still waiting for the return of a loved one.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Sure to resonate strongly with children whose parents are on active duty in the military and with many other readers as well." --Booklist


"Powerful. . . . Kids in Jerome's situation - and those curious about how it feels to be there - should find this book immensely comforting and reassuring." --Publishers Weekly


"Earnest and effective." --Kirkus Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Jerome's mother waved at him from her ship. She was in the Navy and when the ship was in port they would spend time together every night. They did lots of things like bake, read, and play with his dog, Duffy, but when the ship went to sea it was a much different story. Before she left, they would hug tight and she would give him three quick kisses in a row that meant "I-Love-You." She also told him that she would be home soon and told him that he needed to be brave, a feeling he didn't have at all. He only wanted to cry.

Dad took very good care of Jerome and Duffy, but it just wasn't the same without Mom. Dad didn't bake cookies, but sometimes there were surprises like a new set of markers and paper. It still wasn't the same. Duffy sometimes had accidents and sometimes Jerome was afraid, but Dad was there. It still wasn't the same without Mom and it was getting harder to be brave. Sometimes there were good days like when Dad gave them treats, but then again there were bad days like when Jerome got into a fight at school. It still wasn't the same without Mom . . . when was she going to come home?

This poignant tale of a young boy whose mother is out to sea will touch the hearts of every reader. Many children experience the heartbreak of separation from a parent when they leave home on military duty. It is not easy when any parent leaves home, but it is especially difficult for some when their mother leaves. This book does an excellent job in relaying the message that "bravery" isn't simply being gallant, but carrying on life as well as one can. The illustrations are beautifully realistic and capture Jerome's subtle facial features that show he is sometimes in distress or angry. If you are a military family, or know one, this is one book you may wish to add to your list!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Keehn on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I come from a military background in which my dad was gone for long stretches of time. Once when he was away, my mother, who is deathly afraid of snakes, had to call on me to help get a black snake out from behind the freezer! I was scared to death! I thought, I can't do this. But I did. Because I had to. A book like "Sometimes We Were Brave" would have reassured me that I was not alone in having to live through challenging situations. I think this sensitively written book is a must-have for all those military families who are bravely "carrying on" while their loved ones are away serving our country in far off places.
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By MELISSA A. PUENTES on August 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My daughter loves this book and since both her parents are in the military I think it will help her. Thank you.
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Format: Hardcover
SOMETIMES WE WERE BRAVE is a beautifully and sensitively written story about a child dealing with the absences of a parent in the military. This book is a definite "must have" for all school and public libraries.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an important book for any child who has a parent in the military. The author has a deft understanding of the everyday problems that families face when they must deal with separation. The loss is not glossed over, the problems are faced head on, and yet there is hope in the family's love that gives them the strength to endure being apart. The illustrations give the book a lighter tone, which makes it quite kid friendly. This is a very honest and yet comforting story, and a great find for any child who is missing a parent in the military.
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