The NY Times Book Review this weekend has profiled five new books for youth that deal with loss: four picture book titles that tackle the loss of a pet, and one teen novel that deals with the loss of a mother. Splotch by Gianna Marino & Goldfish Ghost by Lemony Snicket both look at the loss of a pet goldfish; Hey, Boy by Benjamin Strouse deals with a boy and a dog, and Colette’s Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault takes a glimpse at a young girl’s attempt to fit into a new neighborhood by inventing the loss of a pet bird.
The teen novel is Speed of Life, by Carol Weston, which I have read and enjoyed. A young teen loses her mother suddenly and must deal with her father dating again. To make matters worse, her dad’s girlfriend has a daughter, Alexa, who is about the same age as Sofia, the protagonist, and is less than thrilled about her mom dating Sofia’s dad. Plus Alexa is not very friendly to Sofia, who turns to an advice columnist, “Dear Kate” for help in dealing with her loss. Recommended for teens in grades 7 and up.