by Carl J. Schutt
Reading level: Nine to twelve year-olds
Hardcover: 41 pages
Publisher: Inkus Imagination (2009)
Source of book: Author
What to expect: Difficult emotional topics, stages of grief, death.
Death is a difficult topic, for adults and children alike. I think it’s harder for children because it’s such an unknown and can come unexpectedly. A new book for older children, Remembering Oakley, by Carl J. Schutt, tells the story of Jacob and his beloved dog, Oakley. When Jacob’s mother tells him it’s time to put Oakley down, Jacob struggles to understand why. As adults we know that illness can affect quality of life and death may be a relief from suffering, but how can we explain this to our children? Written in verse, Remembering Oakley tackles this difficult topic in a very heartwarming way. It touches on the different stages of grief and explains that it’s okay to feel anger and sadness about the death of a loved one. Eventually, Jacob comes to terms with his loss and takes comfort in that fact that Oakley will live on in his memories and his heart.