My Brother, Matthew

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-- When David finally gets to visit his new brother in the hospital, he can barely see the baby for the wires and equipment around him. Matthew was born with disabilities, and this fact has taken over the family. Even David's birthday party is sacrificed. But when Matthew finally comes home, the boy establishes a bond with him. As the years pass, he plays space explorers, swims, and takes walks with Matthew, realizing that he is pretty special. More than just a realistic look at the effect a child with disabilities has on a family, this is a compassionate, lively look at a relationship. Thompson avoids sentimentality and didacticism while conveying a sibling's normal feelings of loneliness, rejection, and impatience. The cheerful watercolors enhance the story and help to create a positive mood. This book can be used as bibliotherapy within a family or for more general audiences to create an understanding of the different challenges and achievements of a disabled child. (The text does not state what Matthew's problem is, but the back cover says he was born with a brain injury.) --Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Janice Del Negro
David is worried when his father tells him that his new brother, Matthew, can't come home from the hospital. When they go to visit Matthew, David expresses concern about the tubes to which the baby is attached. His dad replies, "They help your brother breathe, and eat, and stay warm, David . . . . He can't do those things for himself the way most babies can." When David asks why, he's told, "Nobody knows for sure." Matthew finally comes home, and the family begins to adjust, but the one who adjusts best is David. This bibliotherapeutic tool describes the special circumstances involved in living with and caring for a physically challenged child. Each adult character models a different type of reaction to the situation. It's David, however, who reacts the best: he treats his brother naturally. The text is message driven, and the quality of the watercolor illustrations leaves something to be desired. Yet the story is genuine in its depiction of the impact of a "special child" on family life and in its intention to help ease the way. A book for parents and children to share, this is also suggested for large parenting collections.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780933149472
  • Publisher: Woodbine House
  • Publication date: 1/28/1992
  • Pages: 28
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 9.74 (h) x 0.36 (d)

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