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With You and Without You Paperback – December 1, 1989
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If you mostly know Ann M. Barton through the Baby-Sitters' Club, this will be a lot different. However, it is very good, especially for young people who may be going through the death of a parent. She does a good job of showing how people grieve differently, and how that's okay. It also just has a bunch of moments that made me teary-eyed, including one that I felt was a little gratuitous - although it helped one character learn a lesson she was going to need later, it was pretty rough on the main character. I won't lie, it made me cry.
The main character, Liza, lost her father around the same age I lost mine. He apparently passed away of heart failure, same as mine. We also had to move...but not just to a different neighborhood; we moved out of state. Many of the same struggles were present: guilt, anger, sorrow beyond description...and of course the feeling that other than my siblings, I was the only one with that kind of pain. Liza experiences the same things.
I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially for those between the ages of 8-13 who have lost a parent. At that age, children are so tender, and it's a horrible age to lose a parent; especially when everyone else seems to still have theirs.
The book is, as one other reviewer said, a bit sugar-coated...but mostly truthful and realistic.