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REMEMBERING MRS. ROSSI by Amy Hest Kirkus Star

REMEMBERING MRS. ROSSI

By Amy Hest (Author) , Heather Maione (Illustrator)

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 0-7636-2163-3
Publisher: Candlewick

Eight-year-old Annie is devastated by the sudden death of her mother. She and her father try to get through the days and weeks and months without her, groping their way through birthdays, vacations and school. Mr. Rossi is perhaps as bewildered as Annie by their loss, but keeps up a brave front and a loving, honest relationship with Annie. Annie treasures a memory book created by Mrs. Rossi’s elementary-school students, reading and rereading it as a means of keeping her mother close. Hest handles a delicate subject with compassion and understanding, without descending into maudlin emotion. Annie’s reactions are perfectly in keeping with her age, and she is never presented as an example of the proper way to mourn. The “actual” memory book that has brought Annie and her father so much comfort follows the conclusion of the story. It allows the reader an additional glimpse into Mrs. Rossi’s character and the grief felt by her family and students. Maione’s ink-and-black watercolors delicately illustrate some of the key events in Annie’s most difficult year. A tender treatment of loss and recovery. (Fiction. 8-12)