Getting near to baby by Audrey Couloumbis

Hi everyone, this first week’s review post is a poignant and engaging read. I won’t be telling you much about this, except that this particular title has earned the author the Newbery Honor Medal and a few others!! So if you are someone who seeks powerful stories in their award-winners, then this is the one for you!!

image of two girls sitting on what looks like brick roof. blue sky and clouds above them. girls appear to be handdrawn. cursive black writing along right reads Getting near to baby. Newbery Honor seal on left.
A poignant read

Title: Getting near to baby

Author: Audrey Couloumbis

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Putnam; NY, 1999

ISBN: 9780399233890  (Hardcover)

What this book is about: After baby died everything changed. Willa Jo is up on the roof at Aunt Patty’s house. She went up there to see the sun rise, and Little Sister followed her, like she always does. But by mid-morning, Willa Jo is still up on that roof, and she knows it wasn’t just the sunrise that brought her there. The trouble is, once she climbs up, Willa Jo can’t seem to come down. Coming down would mean she’d have to explain about Baby. And how can she explain?

My review: This was such a beautiful, poignant, and touching story of loss and love. I read this book a few years ago and I couldn’t help the tears that fell freely down my face. I remember thinking how young Little Sister must have been and wondering the sequence of events that had led Willa Jo up to the roof. Reading of the way these two young girls were coping with the loss of their baby sister and their mother’s depression was quite hard for me. The writing style employed by Audrey Couloumbis where she alternates between the present and the past was a bit confusing, but after a while it made sense. The dialogue used was the main element I liked the most. I found myself loving all the characters; Willa Jo, Little Sister, Aunty Patty, and their new friends. This is an amazing book but I do advise to have plenty of tissues on hand!! 

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional information: This title was awarded the Newbery Honor Book in 2000 and nominated for the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Book Award in 2001. There are some more awards and nominations this title has won!!

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