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PROMISES by Elizabeth Winthrop


by Elizabeth Winthrop & illustrated by Betsy Lewin

Pub Date: April 17th, 2000
ISBN: 0-395-82272-6
Publisher: Clarion Books

Sarah’s emotions run the gamut from fear to anger when her mother begins treatment for cancer. Nagging at her are the differences between the mother she remembers and this one, whose skin has a yellowish tinge, who is often tired, and most important, who has lost her curly dark hair. Focusing on this aspect, Sarah thinks of one good thing that might help her mother—her baseball cap. Filled with the everyday activities and reactions typical of a young child whose parent is suffering from a serious illness, Promises tackles a tough issue head-on without sentimentality and in language readily understandable by young readers. Illustrations of Sarah’s mother when she has lost her hair and at the hospital when she is hooked up to an IV provide a realistic yet not overly harsh look at the life of a cancer patient. The hopeful ending highlights a philosophy of living that offers reassurance rather than a clear-cut answer to Sarah’s questions about the future. (Fiction. 4-8)