Getting Near to Baby Book Poster Image

Getting Near to Baby

(i)

 

Moving story of grief and recovery.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Protesting situations in a manner that places a younger sibling in danger.

Violence

Death of sibling. Father's desertion. Control conflicts between a preteen and an adult older sister.

Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the beautifully handled nonlinear plot and the vivid language keep readers engaged, but the slow, sad story makes it less appealing.

What's the story?

When Baby dies, tragedy affects everyone in the family differently. They must find their own paths through grief, in their own time, and this may not match another's schedule or needs. The wisdom of one family member in supporting these differences results in healing. This moving story of grief and recovery is told in an eccentric, nonlinear fashion.

 

Is it any good?

QUALITY

The moving story line highlights the shattering effect of grief in 12-year-old Willa Jo Dean's family. It echoes Willa Jo's fragmentary process of working through grief over her baby sister's death and its debilitating effects on Mom. It also adds to the satisfaction of the family reunion at book's end. Some children may have a hard time with the sad topic and the slow pace of the story.

Willa Jo is portrayed as a spunky girl fighting to help her sister, while struggling to be of help to Mom, by living with rule-making Aunt Patty. Willa Jo sounds adult, partly as a result of the book's engaging Southern voice and partly because she's the older sister.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how Willa Jo handles her baby sister's illness and death and its effects on her mother. How does Willa Jo try to help her mother and sister? What do you think of her efforts?

Book details

Author:Audrey Couloumbis
Genre:Family Life
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Penguin Group
Publication date:January 1, 1999
Number of pages:211
Award:Newbery Medal and Honors

This review of Getting Near to Baby was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Parent of a 10 year old Written bytrombone May 10, 2011

Worth it.

Very well written. Sad story. Really good.
What other families should know
Great role models
Teen, 16 years old Written byBAD_singer April 9, 2008
Teen, 14 years old Written bymychemialromance November 23, 2008

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Family Media Agreement