Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

What Jamie Saw Paperback – August 1, 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

See all 19 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback, August 1, 2008
$6.01 $0.01

100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

What third-grader Jamie saw-his baby sister being hurled across the room by his stepfather, Van-is the first image in this heart-wrenching book. What follows are the effects of the incident on the boy: his relief when baby Nin is caught, miraculously, by his mother, Patty; his gratitude and anxiety when Patty moves them out of the abusive household; and, most powerful of all, his underlying fear that Van will find their new home, a friend's trailer, where Jamie, Patty and Nin live like "sitting ducks." Coman so deftly slips into the skin of her main character that he seems almost to be dictating to her. The opening sentence, for example-"When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw his little sister Nin, when Jamie saw Van throw his baby sister Nin, then they moved"-reveals Jamie's befuddled state and his efforts to make sense out of inexplicable violence. All of the protagonist's thoughts and reactions ring true. Although its plot is not as far-reaching as that of the author's first novel, Tell Me Everything, this work too seems to spring directly from Coman's heart into the reader's own. Ages 10-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6-9?With wrenching simplicity and mesmerizing imagery, Coman articulates nine-year-old Jamie's baffled, stream-of-consciousness observations of a violent act that robs him of his security, but not his innocence. Awakened in the middle of the night by some primal sense of alarm, the sleep-disoriented boy watches his stepfather reach into his baby sister's crib and throw her across the room. And then he watches his mother step into the bedroom doorway and catch her flying baby. Patty deposits her pajama-clad children into the safety of her rusty old Buick, collects the bare necessities, and leaves. With the help of her friend Earl, Jamie's teacher, and even her mother-in-law, Patty finds her way back to work and into a support group for battered wives. In a trailer out in the middle of nowhere, she and Jamie tough it out, slowly reinventing their lives. Revealed through the boy's clear, unprejudiced eye, characters, though rough and uneducated, are not stereotyped. It is Jamie who is most delicately and lovingly wrought. His love of magic tricks, illusion, and sleight of hand sustains him through the bad times. Shocking in its simple narration and child's-eye view, What Jamie Saw is a bittersweet miracle in understated language and forthright hopefulness.?Alice Casey Smith, Sayreville War Memorial High School, NJ
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE


Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Front Street, Incorporated; Reissue edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590786394
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590786390
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 6.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,823,930 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Those complaining about a lack of action miss the boat--and it doesn't matter whether they're sixth graders or sixty year olds. The book is not driven by event, but by perception, and, just like "What Maisie Knew," whose title it echoes, the point is to show us how Jamie thinks and feels about a situation beyond his control and in some senses beyond his ability to make sense. No, it's not full of Harry Potter-ish magic (which I do like) or graphic violence, it asks its readers, in language young readers CAN understand, to value spending some time inside someone else's mind and emotions.
Comment 10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This book deals with the abusive behavior within a family. The family consists of a mother: Patty, a father: Van, a step-son of Van's: Jamie a 3rd grader, and a daughter of Van's: Nin a baby. Jamie wittnesses his step-father Van throwing his step-sister Nin across the room. His mother, Patty, immediately takes the children out of the house. It's freezing cold, December and Christmas is nearning. She is careful to bring warm clothes and blankets. She also brought the children's toys as well as Jamie's magic book. Jamie loves to perform magic.
A friend Earl helps them by giving them an old trailer in the woods to live in. The trailer has very little comforts. Patty has very little money. Jamie is kept out of school for several days while he and his mother cope with their situation. Patty tries to make ends meet by working part-time at the local A&P gorcery store. Jamie's teacher comes to find out why he's not in school and how she can help. She offers to keep! Jamie after school on Tuesdays so Patty can attend a self-help group.
The devestated family has very little to eat let alone spend on Christmas. Patty wants to make their Christmas enjoyable but can't afford to buy to much. The family decorates a small pine tree outside their trailer with makeshift oranments. Also, their friend Earl comes just before Christmas and brings a few gifts for them. Jamie gets a pair of ice skates. Earl and Jamie skate on a nearby pond. They have wonderful time. For a moment Jamie forgets his pain, forgets what he saw.
Jamie is sadden by his situation and lives in constant terror that Van will find them and hurt Nin. Jamie loves Nin and his mother and wants the pain to stop. Van locates the family and comes to make peace with them one day when Jamie is left alone to tend to Nin.
Read more ›
Comment 12 of 15 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Carolyn Coman has written an excellent book on a subject many people are rightly aghast at. Still children by the age of nine have seen and heard much, and most will be able to make sense of this book and its language. Like One Hundred Dresses this Newberry Honor Book will demand a degree of maturity from its young reader, and I have met many children who have the intellectual capacity to understand this book.
Comment 5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
A Kid's Review on May 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
The book I read was What Jamie Saw .I enjoyed the book for many reasons. The main reason I enjoyed the book was that it had a good story line that was very easy to follow. I felt the author did a good job writing the story, yet the author could have possibly used the character Van a little more. I feel the book reflects people's lives more than I know because in the book Van drank and hurt the baby. All in all I would recommend What Jamie Saw because of its content and how it was written. I can understand why it has been on the following book lists: Newbery Honor Book, 1996 National Book award finalist, ALA Notable Book, and Booklist Editors Choice. This selection is a good book for older readers and is a very enjoyable book.
Comment 4 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
Coman, Carolyn. What Jamie Saw. Arden: Front Street, 1995. Gross, Melissa. "The Giver and Shade's Children: Future Views of Child Abandonment And Murder." Children's Literature in Education 30 (1999): 103-117. The mother-son relationship in Carolyn Coman's novel, What Jamie Saw, is stronger and much more stable than Clay's relationship with his mother in Monkey Island. In What Jamie Saw, Jamie, his mother, and his baby sister, Nin, move into a trailer after Nin's father attempts to hurl Nin across the room. Jaime and his mother face many struggles, and their relationship is threatened several times by emotional outbursts resulting from anger and frustration. However, their love for each is evident, and they are able to overcome their fears together. Throughout the novel, Jaime's reaction to the tone of his mother's voice indicates that they have a loving relationship. For example, as they are leaving Nin's father's house, a frightened Jamie asks his mother if she remembered to bring his magic. She answers, "Yes," and her one word quickly stops the ferocious pounding in his heart (Coman 18). In another instance, Jaime becomes scared while he is staying with his mother's friend because he does not recognize his surroundings and feels lost. As he runs into the house, his mother reaches for him and inquires, "Oh honey, what is it?" Just the sound of her voice makes all the difference and calms him down (29). These situations illustrate the bond that Jaime and his mother share and how easily Jamie is soothed by his mother's concern. On the other hand, after Clay's mother leaves him, he no longer trusts her and cannot be completely comforted by her kind words and gestures. Jaime's mother also seems more concerned for the welfare of her children than Clay's mother.Read more ›
Comment 3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?