Will I Ever Be Hap­py Again: A Jew­ish Approach to Help­ing Chil­dren Deal With the Loss of a Loved One

Chaya L. Milevsky & Avi­dan Milevsky; Sarah Zaud­er­er, illus.
  • Review
By – March 30, 2015

When a close fam­i­ly mem­ber dies, a child can feel lost, con­fused and fright­ened. At the time the child most needs the com­fort and sup­port of par­ents, the par­ents may be dis­tract­ed or busy due to pre­cise­ly the same sad event. This book proves a bridge for chil­dren to help them through this uncer­tain peri­od of time and explains in sim­ple, non-threat­en­ing terms some of the activ­i­ty they are wit­ness­ing which they are unable to under­stand on their own. It is geared in terms of lan­guage, illus­tra­tions, and con­cepts to the Ortho­dox read­er but the sub­ject mat­ter is han­dled deft­ly and can be mod­i­fied or adapt­ed for the child of any fam­i­ly going through a loss. There is work­book space for express­ing feel­ings and draw­ing pic­tures and there are tips and strate­gies for adults to use as they help their chil­dren process the fam­i­ly changes in the most whole­some and con­struc­tive way pos­si­ble. The col­or illus­tra­tions are age-appro­pri­ate and incor­po­rate the work­book fea­tures. A glos­sary of Hebrew terms used in the text is pro­vid­ed as well as a pref­ace writ­ten for adults which will help the grownups see the pro­ceed­ings from a child’s point of view. This is a sen­si­tive­ly writ- ten and use­ful tool writ­ten by a geron­tol­o­gist and rab­bi-psy­chol­o­gist, help­ful in nav­i­gat­ing a painful and dif­fi­cult tran­si­tion in a healthy, pro­duc­tive way. 

Rec­om­mend­ed for ages 4 – 10 and would be most high­ly rec­om­mend­ed, when pos­si­ble, for use by par­ents and chil­dren together. 

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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