CM . . . . Volume XVIII Number 3 . . . . September 16, 2011
Taylor is nine in September 2002. She is in Mrs. Montagueís grade four class again, and she thinks it will be the best school year. And it is until Mrs. Montague cries in class. Taylor finds out that Mrs. Montagueís son has died in a car accident. This is the first time death is so close to Taylor. As her teacher goes through the loss of her son, Taylor is also faced with a possible death in her family. Her brother, Corey, is diagnosed with cancer. While her parents focus on Coreyís illness and journeys to Halifax for possible treatments, Taylor also goes on a journey of personal growth and healing.
The Year Mrs. Montague Cried is Taylorís journal of the school year in 2002, a year that she cannot forget and is impossible to forget. It tracks Mrs. Montagueís loss of her son and Taylorís family as her brother fights for his life. This journal is also a form of healing for Taylor. It is the year from her point of view, in her own words. It is a place for her to pour her feelings into. Most importantly, it is also a place where she reflects on what has happened, why it has happened, and how she can deal with these problems. In reading her journal, readersí hearts will go out to Taylor, and they will want to be there for her and help her in her time of need. The journal style allows readers to hear Taylorís voice as she details the day-to-day life changing events in her life.
The Year Mrs. Montague Cried, a touching novel by Susan White, deals with family, death, and healing through time and story. The novel takes readers through a painful process of grief, acceptance, and then finally courage when faced with death. Taylorís journal is a moving account of her difficult year in which she learns to accept her brotherís illness and to deal with the tension and strain in her relationships with her parents, her brother, and her relatives. This novel has been awarded the Writersí Federation of Nova Scotia 2010 Atlantic Writing Competition.
Alicia Cheng is a Childrenís Librarian at the Vancouver Public Library in Vancouver, BC.
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