Hi there. I don’t often present reviews on my blog, mostly because I never think I can do a book the justice it deserves. However, once in a while, a book comes along that I feel I am able to review properly, either because I find the right words, or because I am able to give an educated opinion.
Today I’m reviewing J P Walker’s “Goodbye, Hello”, available from Beaten Track Publishing. I requested a copy from Beaten Track because I felt, in a professional capacity (my background in early years education and childcare), my review may be of some value. I hope I have been able to do this book some justice.
“Goodbye, Hello” is a very emotive and sensible look at foster care from a child’s point of view.
I read this book with a professional head on, since I have many years’ experience in working with young children, some of whom have been through the foster care system. It was lovely to see the situation from a different point of view.
This story is aimed at children within a family that welcomes foster children into their home. It is told from the point of view of a girl who’s parents are foster carers and tells, in very simple and clear terms, how she copes with the situation. It deals with her emotions and feelings at the beginning when she first meets a new foster brother; how her relationship develops with this boy and then, how she feels at the end, when her foster brother leaves to live with his adoptive family.
This is a very difficult, emotionally charged subject and I think JP Walker has handled it extremely well. The story is told in a way that is very easy for young children to understand but it does not hold back on the expression of feelings, either negative or positive. I often find in stories aimed at an Early Years age group, that some things, especially negative emotions or difficult situations, are glossed over, mostly so as not to cause distress. “Goodbye, Hello” does not do this. The aim of the story is to explore the full range of emotions experienced by a child whose parents are foster carers and this is achieved quite adequately and sensitively and without causing distress.
The illustrations are very simple but lovely. The illustrator is Katerine Gilmartin and she has done an excellent job. I read this as an ebook, but I think the actual hard copy would be much better to present to a child. In my favoured ebook format you cannot view the pictures and words at the same time. This is not a criticism, rather a promotion of the hard copy over the ebook version.
As well as being a great book for foster families, I think this book would also make an excellent addition to libraries, both public and in schools. I will definitely be recommending it.
More about the author:
Jem Roche-Walker was born in Norwich and moved to the North West in order to attend Edge Hill University, studying Social Work Studies. After studying she began working in rehabilitation for patients with acquired brain injuries and has spent the last 7 years writing her first novel, ‘Knights of the Sun’, published 2013 (Beaten Track).
She lives in Burscough with her wife and baby girl and loves spending family time with them.
Click here to go to her author page at Beaten Track Publishing.
Click here for the illustrator’s website “forevertoofar”.