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Layla, Queen of Hearts
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Gr 3-5-Senior Citizen's Day is right around the corner for the third graders at Saint Benedict's, and Layla Elliott has a problem. Her nana died last year, and she has no one special to take to the festivities. No one, that is, until she meets Miss Amelie, who is coping with memory loss. The elderly woman's condition doesn't stop Layla from pursuing a friendship with her, though. She knows that they are meant to be friends because they share the nickname "Queen of Hearts," given to each of them by a loved one who has passed. Indeed, their bond strengthens, and Miss Amelie attends Senior Citizen's Day with Layla. They have a wonderful time together, but then the child must learn how to cope as she watches her friend's memory worsen. The sequel to The Naming of Tishkin Silk (Farrar, 2009), this is a beautifully written tale about how it feels to lose someone you care about, whether the loss is due to death or dementia. Though the subject matter is heavy, Millard maintains an upbeat mood throughout and her poetic descriptions of Layla's environment show readers that there is beauty and joy to be found in everyday life. Soft pencil drawings scattered throughout also add a sense of comfort. This is a gentle introduction to a difficult subject, and reassuring bibliotherapy for children who have already lost a grandparent.-Amy Holland, Hamlin Public Library, Rochester, NY Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Children's/Children's Fiction/Education - Children's

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