Cover Image: Remembering Ethan

Remembering Ethan

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Member Reviews

This is a great book about remembering the ones who you've loved and lost. I think this is a great book for kids who are confused as to where their loved ones have gone.
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In REMEMBERING ETHAN, a young girl named Sarah misses her deceased big brother and wants to talk about him to the people she loves. 

Sarah doesn't understand why her parents don't talk about Ethan, and in fact, won't even mention his name. She believes that because they won't talk about him, that they do not miss him as much as Sarah and her cat  Buttons miss Ethan. 

When I was a child I do not remember reading any books with grief as a theme. In fact, I do not remember my parents ever talking about death and grief. This denial of unpleasant truths did absolutely nothing to prepare me for dealing with death. 

I vividly remember being taken to a darkened funeral home by my Great Aunt and being forced to view the body of one of her friends. I ran from the room and was spanked for being disrespectful. Thankfully, things have changed dramatically since then. 

Books, such as REMEMBERING ETHAN are extremely necessary. They let kids know that their feelings are valid and that they are not the only kids to have ever experienced grief. The fact that this book is published by MAGINATION PRESS which is part of the APA (American Psychological Association) gives purchasers the assurance that this book has been vetted by professionals. 

REMEMBERING ETHAN should be in every children's library. Preparing children for dealing with their emotions when bad things happen can only be beneficial to that child. 

REMEMBERING ETHAN is a touching and tender story with beautiful illustrations. I rate both the story and the illustrations as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. 

*** Thank you to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book. ***
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Thank you for the opportunity to review another wonderful resource for children. This book is heartfelt and gentle, presenting the issues in the relatable story of a girl who is grieving the death of her brother and going through the thoughts and feelings that children in this situation often experience. Remembering Ethan is likely to become one of my go-to stories to help children learn about and process issues of grief and loss. It will also be helpful in facilitating conversation around these issues among family members.
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Remembering Ethan
By Leslea Newman
Magination Press/ American Psychological Association

I thought I would change up my reading a bit, and was excited that NetGalley and the APA granted me a copy of this book for review. In addition to being an avid reader, I am a school psychologist. As such, I am always looking for resources to help support my kiddos and their families. 

As the title suggests, this book is about the loss of a child named Ethan. It is possible that the child was a teen or young adult, and the reason for his death is not explained. 

The narrator is Sarah, Ethan’s younger sibling. The story highlights her sadness over the loss of her brother as well as confusion about her parents’ behavior and reactions. The narrator feels alone in her grief. An event occurs which leads to the parents acknowledging the need to talk about Ethan with their surviving child, removing the taboo of mentioning his name. 

Remembering Ethan is written for an elementary age child and, depending on maturity level,  it might even be appropriate to be read to a kindergartener.

I think this is a wonderful book. The pictures are sweet and support the narrative. I wish it delved a bit more into a child’s complex emotional experience so that it could appeal to a broader audience. This book might not be a good fit for a young child that is expressing their loss in a different way than the one depicted in Remembering Ethan. 

This book should be previewed by an adult and shared with a child only if the adult is prepared to discuss the book, as well as the reader’s emotional reaction to it (or to real life circumstances). This would be a great addition to any school psychologist, child psychologist, or counselor’s resource shelf. 


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Remembering Ethan tells the story of Sarah, a little girl, figuring out how to process and mourn the loss of her older brother. A large focus of the picture book is the different ways the family members grieve (including the cat) and how Sarah does not understand why her parents aren't trying to remember her brother Ethan the same way she is. This is a brief yest heartbreaking book, but it ends warmly with the family coming together, understanding each other and sharing stories about Ethan. (In the back of the book there is content on how to help children who are experiencing loss like this.)
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A heart-breaking and heart-wrenching, a fact of life of resource for children that have lost a sibling. Sarah is grieving for her big brother that she looked up to. She remembers Ethan in the way he was and how he made her feel. Her mother and father in their grief are unable to engage with Sarah. This leads Sarah in despair. Once the parents realize the opportunity they have for healing, they are able to grieve in a healthy way that ultimately brings the family closer.

When a child a dies, families need healthy ways to cope and grieve. This book is a resource to help the family along during a difficult time.

A Special Thank You to Magination Press and Netgalley for the ARC and the opportunity to post an honest review.
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A really lovely book dealing with the loss of a child and the impact on the parents and siblings. Great educational tool to use for younger children to help with grief, and lovely illustrations.
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My granddaughter picks this book out almost daily. It has become one of her favorites. 

Thanks to the publisher for an early copy.
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What a well crafted book that allows for the reader to safely explore the wide range of emotions that come with grief. The family in the story is heart broken, but their resilience gives the reader hope that they will be able to come to terms with their grief. Although this book might not be appealing to all children, it is certainly a terrific tool for children struggling to process grief, especially a grief as big as losing a sibling.
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Summary:   Sarah misses her big brother, Ethan, but any time she says his name, her parents tell her not to talk about him, or turn away from her.  She interprets this to mean they don’t miss him as much as she does, and thinks that only their cat, who carries around one of Ethan’s old socks and sleeps on his bed, remembers her brother.  When she shows her mother a picture she’s drawn of Ethan giving her and Buttons a piggyback ride, Mom bursts into tears and runs out of the room, her father close behind.  Sarah is sure her parents are mad at her, but later they assure her that they are just sad.  The three of them spend some time looking at pictures of Ethan in their photo album and share some happy memories of him.  Includes a note to readers by Elizabeth McCallum, PhD about helping children cope with the loss of a sibling.  40 pages; ages 4-8.

Pros:  This gentle and realistic look at a child’s grief and how a family copes with the loss of a child would make an excellent addition to any family therapist’s bookshelf.

Cons:  This is definitely a book that adults and children should read together, allowing plenty of time for discussion and questions.
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I started crying while I was two pages into this picture book, and I kept crying all the way through the end. This is an incredibly touching, authentic portrayal of a girl's desire to remember her older brother after his death. Her parents' grief patterns confuse and emotionally isolate her, but in the end, the family is able to discuss their memories together.

Even though no one wants to need this book, it is an excellent resource for families who have lost a child. I am very impressed with how well-designed this story is, because the author brings her characters to life with specific details while also keeping the story universal to the grieving experience. She never identifies how the brother died, but focuses on the pain that the family is experiencing and how they ultimately begin processing their grief in a healthy way.

One excellent aspect of this book is that it remains firmly grounded in the real world. Other books that I have read about children grieving a sibling have involved vaguely spiritualistic and imaginative ideas, and even though some children may process their grief that way, those books can also create confusion about the reality of death. This book is very straightforward, and instead of the family finding hope from an event that they attach a mythical interpretation to, they move forward by sharing their memories of their lost loved one.

This story is well-written and gracefully portrayed, the art is tender and comforting, and the author's note in the back provides even more information and resources for parents. I am very impressed with every element of this book, and think it will be a great help to both children and parents. I would not recommend that a parent read this to a young child who has not lost a sibling, since it would introduce fears and anxieties that they are not prepared to deal with, but this is a good resource for families who need it, and for older children who are learning about grief. This is a safe introduction to very important issues, and can help children grow in sensitivity to people around them who have lost family members.
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I received an arc of this title from NetGalley for an honest review. This picture book is an excellent read for kids dealing with grief.
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Remembering Ethan is a beautiful and needed book! Young Sarah remembers things about her brother, and she wants to talk about Ethan, but Mom and Dad always turn away or change the subject when he comes up. One day Sarah says she wants her breakfast eggs like Ethan, and Mom runs upstairs, followed by Dad.

While Sarah wonders why no one else loved Ethan as much as she did, and does, the family finally sits down to talk and remember.

This book should be available to any small child who needs it, and any parent or teacher who wants to know what to say after the death of a loved one. It is a gentle and lovely memorial to a lost love.
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A useful, important book for library collections, although it may not get a ton of circulation. Very well executed. Nice art.
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Sarah misses her big brother Ethan. Anytime she mentions him, her parents get upset and will not talk about Ethan. Sarah feels like she, and her cat, are the only ones who miss Ethan. 

Remembering Ethan is a story about a child grieving the loss of a sibling. The story highlights how family members are grieving differently, but it is important to include the siblings left behind in the process. 

The story is well-written and the illustrations are beautiful! 

As an educator, I would recommend this book for families with young children who have experienced a family loss.

Thank you to the American Psychological Association/Magination Press and NetGalley for the electronic copy in exchange for an honest review.
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This book is published with the APA in order to help children (and parents!) explore grieving when a sibling dies (in this case, an older sibling). The illustrations are eye-catching and the story feels easy to read. The end includes prompts that can help parents/caregivers which could be helpful during stressful times. As a new therapist, this is something that I might like to use with some of my younger clients.
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Oof. Where do I begin? 

Let me first wipe away my tears...

Second, I have to say, as someone who has worked with young children in the past and who now has two of her own, author Leslea Newman beautifully and perfectly showed what losing a sibling feels like for a younger child. I would feel completely comfortable & confident passing this book along to a student's parent should a situation like this happen.

Tracy Nishimura Bishop's illustrations are sweet without being saccharine and really further tell the author's story without "taking over" or being "too much." Bishop's drawings give a sense of comfort, a hint of softness...which the characters, and the readers, need with such a difficult topic. 

This is a book that I will keep in my physical library and repertoire, as I feel it would be a wonderful source in what will be a sad, hard time for a child.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and Magination Press, an imprint of the American Psychological Association.
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Remembering Ethan is a picture book that gives a window into Sarah’s day-to-day life following the death of her older brother Ethan. Sarah recognizes that she her cat Buttons miss Ethan. However, Sarah and her parents are not communicating well. Author Leslea Newman has given us a story of how one family responds to loss and it’s helpful to see what’s done poorly as well as some healthy ways to grieve.
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I stopped reading a good book in between and was getting ready to sleep when the notification came from #NetGalley that my request of the ARC of #RememberingEthan  got approved. I downloaded the book and started reading it asap. Who needs sleep at times like this?

And... rightly so I started crying out of nowhere just into the second page. And I just couldn't stop crying after that until the last page. 

It hurts to read about death and grief. But yes, I feel it's really important to know how to deal with them. We tend to oversee how children cope with it. And that's where this kind of book becomes the answer. 
It had been so well executed. The artstyle is so amazing. It's a sad but it's comforting at the same time. It will teach the parents/adults to help the kids in the family in coping and coming in terms to the death of someone in the family or someone close to them. Rather than avoiding the situation as we adults tend to do most of the time, this tiny children's book shows how is to deal with the matter at the right time. 

Such an important read. Highly recommended. 

My heart is still broken though.
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It is surely not easy to lose a family member. This could be really hard to accept for parents, but especially for siblings. I really hope this is not a book you would need to use, but if this is a situation you are struggling with, this could be a great book for you and your child.
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