Pat Brisson Sometimes We Were Brave

ISBN 13: 9781590785867

Sometimes We Were Brave

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Bravery has many meanings. Jerome's mom is a sailor. When her ship is in home port, she and Jerome bake cookies, read books together, and take their dog, Duffy, for walks. When his mom's ship goes to sea, she gives Jerome a hug and says, "Be brave, Jerome. I'll be back as soon as I can." Jerome doesn't feel brave at all. But he does what he needs to do every day—goes to school, helps his dad with chores, and takes care of Duffy. Then one day he learns that bravery means something very different than he thought it did. Pat Brisson's endearing story, a Society of School Librarians International Honor Book and lovingly illustrated by France Brassard, shows how a Navy family adjusts to life while mom is serving at sea.

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About the Author:

Pat Brisson is a winner of a Christopher Award for The Summer My Father Was Ten and has written a number of books for children. She lives in Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

France Brassard's illustrations have appeared on book jackets, posters, greeting cards, and in picture books published in Canada, the United States, and Europe. She lives in St-Armand, Quebec, Canada.

From School Library Journal:

Kindergarten-Grade 2—This story addresses the difficulties associated with a parent's absence. Jerome tells how much he and his dog miss his mother when her job as a sailor takes her away from home, even though his dad takes good care of him. Sometimes he is happy. At other times, though, Jerome and Duffy are afraid, act out at school, or have accidents. Bedwetting is handled in a calm manner. Dad says, "That's okay, Jerome. That's why God invented washing machines and bathtubs." Jerome worries about himself and Duffy, who acts as something of a surrogate for Jerome's own experiences. The text is positive about Dad, but the watercolor illustrations oddly distance him. He is rarely shown with Jerome and never with the whole family. The focus is on Jerome, Duffy, and Mom almost exclusively. The pictures reflect the sentimental tone by showing everything as clean, pretty, and sunny. Even the difficult times do not appear very threatening. In a storm scene Jerome is asleep; when he gets in trouble at school, the picture is of him sitting in the principal's office rather than the fight itself. The story ends with Jerome anticipating rather than experiencing his mother's homecoming. By not having a tidy conclusion, the author leaves the story a bit open and more relatable for children who are also still waiting for the return of a loved one.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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