Reviewed by Grace (age 5) and Ella (age 4) Gleichner and Mom for ReaderViews (10/09) "Jamie and the Angel" is the story of a very shy, young girl and the amazing revelation that changes her life. Jamie felt different from other children but wasn't able to understand why she felt sad inside. She longed to have friends but she was teased and made fun of so this wasn't a possibility. Add to this a home life with an older brother who didn't want to be bothered, a military father who was gone a lot, and a mother who was very busy, and it's easy to understand how Jamie would feel sad. Grace: "I felt bad that the other kids made fun of her. It's not like that at my school." Ella: "The other kids should be nice. I would play with her and share my toys." Jamie could see things that others couldn't. Things like people standing over children in school trying to help. When Jamie tried to explain what she was seeing, her parents told her it was just her imagination. She felt very alone. One night, Jamie had a long conversation with God and asked for help in understanding what was happening to her. Soon after, she meets her Guardian Angel who reveals to Jamie that what she has experienced is a gift and that it's okay. Grace: "The Angels wings are really pretty. She seems nice; I'd like to meet my Guardian Angel." Ella: "She is pretty but I think I would be scared if I saw an Angel." Grace: "I'm glad that the Angel made her feel better and made her happy." The author did an admirable job of explaining the concept of a special gift in the case of clairvoyance through the eyes of a young girl and showing how it impacted her life. While this book took a decidedly spiritual look at clairvoyance, I believe that anyone could read this book and find a way for them to deal with their own special gift. I enjoyed the part where Jamie's parents dismissed her concerns as an overactive imagination. This may seem like a curious choice as a favorite part but it was this particular exchange that reminded me as a parent to listen to my children and always try to be sure of the difference between imagination and genuine concern. For children, everything is new and different, and sometimes that can be scary. Helping our children understand all the new and different things they experience is one of our most important jobs as parents. The illustrations by Richa Kinra brought the book to life and helped explain the story to children as young as mine. I was impressed at the author's ability to take such a complex subject and put it in a story that young children such as mine could enjoy as well as children in elementary or middle school. Maybe that's really my favorite part of "Jamie and the Angel" by Carol Guy, the fact that there's something everyone can take away from the story. That is this book's special gift.
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