Review Blog

Feb 28 2011

Always Jack by Susanne Gervay

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Harper Collins, 2010. ISBN 9780732290207.
Always Jack is a wonderful story involving a modern, blended family - step dad, mum, kids and nanna. Along with the problems of everyday life (like mum getting married again) they are facing breast cancer.
The author, Susanne Gervay, writes from the perspective of Jack, the oldest child who is still in primary school. He is an inventor, a cook, a good friend and a great big brother. He looks after his nanna, is always telling jokes and helps everyone in his family. Understanding events from his perspective will be appealing to independent readers (12+) as it is a language they understand. Any child going through similar events such as nanna moving in, mum getting remarried or gaining step brothers will also understand what Jack is going through. If any parents read this book, they will want a son like Jack! I know I wish mine would do the cooking!
Yes, you will need a tissue at one point - breaking the news of breast cancer to your children would be one of the hardest things a parent ever has to do but Susanne Gervay tackles it in a thoughtful and positive way. You realise that this independent and strong minded boy still needs his mum. The heart-warming part is how the family comes together and helps each other through and how they are willing to sacrifice other things as long as their mum is OK.
Kylie Kempster

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