What Jamie Saw

by Carolyn Coman

"When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw... read more

"When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw his little sister Nin, when Jamie saw Van throw his baby sister Nin, then they moved." Disturbing, provocative prose opens a novel in which a young boy, his mother and baby sister flee an abusive home. Setting up house in a remote trailer home, Jamie and his mother go through the motions of living. His mother struggles to pay the bills with her job at the grocery story while Jamie goes to school and helps care for Nin, but always the fear of his mother's boyfriend Van returning haunts them. Eventually, the fear overwhelms them, and for awhile it's easier to stay home all day than to venture out and risk being seen. But with the help of a close friend, and a caring teacher who won't let Jamie disappear, things slowly start to improve. Grounded in Jamie's perspective, Carolyn Coman writes a novel about the tension of living in fear, and the courage of breaking free. (Ages 11-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1995

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