Friday, August 28, 2020

Dancing at the Pity Party

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Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder. Grades 6+ with crossover for adults. 208 pages. Dial Books, 2020. Review copy provided by publisher. 

I can't do better than this publisher blurb, so here's what this book is about: 

"From before her mother's first oncology appointment through the stages of her cancer to the funeral, sitting shiva, and afterward, when she must try to make sense of her life as a motherless daughter, Tyler Feder tells her story in this graphic novel that is full of piercing--but also often funny--details. She shares the important post-death firsts, such as celebrating holidays without her mom, the utter despair of cleaning out her mom's closet, ending old traditions and starting new ones, and the sting of having the "I've got to tell Mom about this" instinct and not being able to act on it. This memoir, bracingly candid and sweetly humorous, is for anyone struggling with loss who just wants someone to get it."

I picked up the galley at PLA and I didn't read it right away, but when I saw how many holds were gathering on this title at my library, I picked it up to see what the buzz was about. I was surprised at how much I loved this book. Like... LOVED. It's not an easy read and I'm not a member of the Dead Mom Club, so it's not a story that I especially identify with, but it still struck a deep chord in me. I think it's got wide appeal for kids in middle school and high school, but also for adults, especially adults who experienced a major loss while they were in their teens or young adulthood. Readers who have experienced the loss of a parent or another close loss will find recognition and acceptance here, but even readers who have not experienced this loss should tune in for just a well-crafted and emotionally vulnerable story. Have tissues nearby, of course.