Somewhere in Blue (2010), by Gillian Cummings

This review was first published in Resource Links Magazine, Canada’s national journal devoted to the review and evaluation of Canadian English and French resources for children and young adults. It appears in volume 15.4.

Somewhere in Blue

There seem to be a number of novels lately about children losing one of their parents, but as it has recently happened in my immediate circle, I understand the need for novels that express the various forms that grieving can take.  In Somewhere in Blue, Sandy feels her father’s death deeply, but her mother does not seem to.  Her problems are parallelled by her best friend Lennie’s dysfunctional family, and her neighbour Dan’s growing affection for her.

The descriptions of Sandy’s experience resonate with realism; we feel her loss, her angst, her solace in Dan’s affection, her confusion in trying to press forward with her life.  Through helping her friend deal with her own family troubles, Sandy finally comes to terms with her own troubles; friendship is not always exclusively supportive, but it is always both necessary and empowering.  This is the lesson Sandy learns, as she matures through the pain of loss into the strength of adulthood.  Somewhere in Blue is an excellent text to help readers understand the different forms of grieving, and how the grieving process plays out.


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