My life has changed so much
and I don't really like it. I want to be back in my own room with
my mother and my sisters. It's been awhile since Little Sister and
I came to live with Aunt Patty and Uncle Hob. They mean well but
they've never had any kids of their own. They just can't understand
what we are doing. Aunt Patty just wants to dress us up like dolls
and parade us around town. She invites the most obnoxious girl over
to play with us just because Aunt Patty wants to get into some social circle.
And worse yet, she wants to do something drastic to Little Sister just
to get her to start talking again. Can't she just understand that
Little Sister will talk when she has something to say. And Mom.
She just needs her time too. We all do. So, Little Sister and
I will sit out here on the roof of Aunt Patty's house until we feel we
have had enough time. Join me and Little Sister as we are GETTING
NEAR TO BABY.
you ever lost someone dear to you? Do you know someone who won't speak
because they are very sad? Do you have relatives who drive you crazy and
do things different from the way you like them done? Do you have a secret
getaway place to go to? Well 12-year-old Willa Jo does and you'll never
guess where it is. She goes up to the rooftop with Little Sister
because they are very sad about the death of their Baby sister. They have
to stay with their Aunt Patty while their mom recovers from her depression.
Because of their Aunt's bossy ways they end up on the rooftop trying to
figure out what has happened to their family. Little sister won't
speak to anyone and their mom has sent them away to stay with their aunt
and uncle. The story takes place over an entire day on the rooftop
and Willa Jo recalls the facts leading up to Baby's death. To find
out what happened you will have to read "Getting Near to Baby" by Audrey
Couloumbis. (Karen Womack, graduate student, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When uprooted from their normal
family life, Willa Jo and Little Sister must spend some time with an aunt
who doesn't understand children, and adjusting to a different life
with preset choices leave Willa Jo angry and confused. Throughout
her difficulties with Aunt Patty, she learns to deal with life, which culminates
by looking at the sunrise on the rooftop. This bittersweet novel
combines humor, regional culture, and the pain of a loved one into a heart-warming
story. Finding out about how the loss of Baby happening in the middle
of the book is an ingenious way of keeping the reader turning the pages.
("Naomi Bates" <email@example.com>)
I would ask students to name
a specific situation in which people have lost their children (Oklahoma
bombing, school shootings, or any real life experiences if chosen).
Then I would ask how people respond to losing their loved ones. Which
would hurt most, to lose a young child or an older one? After discussing
this, I would present this book to students and tell them about how two
sisters and a mother deal with the loss of a loved one. ("Naomi Bates"
Itís a girl. After drinking
poisonous water, baby dies and all excitement is lost. Now all thatís left
of baby are memories and paintings of her on the walls. Willa Jo and Little
Sister are now forced to move in with their Aunt Patty, until their mother
gets over her illness. Their Aunt Patty is married, but has no kids of
her own. Aunt Patty has so many rules, and the girls canít even play jacks
with their neighbors. Now after losing their baby sister all Willa Jo and
Little Sister do is sit on the roof with their picnic basket. Will they
ever get to see their mother again, or will she die too? (Kelsey
Elizabeth Jones, student, Mansfield High School)