Remembering Lucy: A Story about Loss and Grief in a School ISBN: 9781785923074
Published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017
Aimed at children in SEN classes and schools, this sensitive story about the death of one child and how it affects the others will prove helpful to teachers dealing with the situation. There are suggestions at the end on how teachers might use the story. The book begins with Joe, who tells us about his school and how the different children arrive each day and their different physical needs. He goes on to explain that sometimes one or other of the children is ill and must stay at home or go to hospital. They are always greeted happily when they return to school, but sometimes someone dies, and then the teachers must tell them what has happened. When Lucy dies, they are all very sad. Death is explained in very simple but quite definite words - no euphemisms here, and this is important because euphemisms can confuse children with SEND. We see Joe and the class grieving in their own ways, using pictures of Lucy and remembering things she enjoyed doing, and we see Joe clutching her yellow teddy and being helped by a teacher. The illustrations are wonderful - soft, expressive black and white figures with touches of colour to identify specific children. Joe is always in blue, while we see Lucy in yellow. There are occasional reds as well, but basically greys, blacks and whites are the order of the day. This is a happy school dealing with an unhappy situation, and as such it will prove of great help in SEN schools. An unusual subject and setting for a picture book and therefore all the more welcome for that. Available from Amazon, from good book shops, and from the publisher: www.jkp.com.