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Sunday, July 14, 2019

Summer is for Reading! What Jamie Saw

Summer is for reading!

I just finished reading What Jamie Saw (1995) by Carolyn Coman (Level T). It's been on my To Be Read list because I've seen it in the majority of the third, fourth and fifth grade classroom libraries at my school. It appears to have been a district purchase at one point, possibly even in multiple sets.

Teachers, I urge caution with this book. It details very graphically, and well, child abuse that a 9 year old saw and the aftermath of emotions and chaos experienced by the family.

Personally, I wouldn't put it in a classroom library for students to read on their own, especially considering that many of our students have been through this type of trauma themselves. There isn't any 'redeeming, Hail Mary, everything's okay and here's the cure to your feelings' in this book that a child who has been through similar trauma could hold onto and use to gather personal strength.

It is more a book that teachers (and social workers) could read to get a child's perspective of the emotions experienced and behavior expressed during and after critical trauma and use that knowledge to better help children who have been through it. And unfortunately, we know that there are more and more children who come to us with this in their background.

If you have What Jamie Saw in your classroom library or book room, please closely consider your chosen use for this book.


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