My Brother's Shadow by Tom Avery
Publication date: 9 September 2014 by Schwartz & Wade
Category: Middle Grade Contemporary Fiction
Keywords: Fiction, Realistic, Suicide, Grief
Format: Hardcover, ebook
Source: Review copy provided by Publisher
Kaia is frozen in time since her brother's death. She moves through life in a static emptiness. Her mum is barely there too. Until the day a new boy comes to school. He's wild and untamed, he's a good listener and doesn't care what the other kids think. And he's the friend Kaia needs.
Well written, My Brother's Shadow is a sad tale of a young girl moving through grief and isolation after a traumatic event in her life. Kaia is so well drawn, she is almost sitting next to you, telling you her story of how she meets the mysterious boy, her memories of her family "before" and how this friend is helping her cope with her new world.
I liked the delicate and sparse language. Kaia's voice is clear and her pain is palpable, bringing the reader in immediately. We want to know more about this boy, about Kaia, about her brother and what happened.
At the same time, you're truly frightened to find out.
The story touches upon sensitive topics, but it's important to understand that the real story is about Kaia and how this young girl can handle such an emotional experience. How this event unwinds her mother and how Kaia grows and processes her own feelings differently. Avery does a wonderful job illustrating the heartbreak that follows such events and the hope that has to fight extra hard to be seen.
Overall, I think readers will enjoy the book, in all of it's heaviness and sadness. It's about coming out, moving on, and grabbing a friend's hand.
I received this book for free from Random House for review purposes.