Back to top

Not the only one

Cover of My Brother is Away
A review of My Brother is Away by Sara Greenwood, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

This book is dedicated by Sara Greenwood “for the child I was and the child you are - hope, healing, love, light.” When Sara’s brother was away in prison when she was growing up, this book did not exist. Yet, like the little girl in this story realizes when they go to visit her big brother, “I see I’m not the only one whose brother is away.” In the children’s book world, we talk of books both as windows and mirrors - windows to better understand the experiences of those different from us, and mirrors to see our own experiences and feelings reflected and supported. The gentle and reassuring tone of this beautiful book takes a challenging topic and makes it understandable to even a very young audience - emphasizing the importance that even though her brother is not home, his love for her hasn’t changed. Its well chosen text and beautiful illustrations have had it recognized as a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book for excellence in writing for children’s picture books.

Now this book does exist for kids like Sara. We hope that it is there for you as a window to build empathy and understanding of others’ lives when you share it with your little one, or as a mirror for a child to recognize they are not alone in their experiences

May 11, 2023