Moms Don't Get Sick

Pat Brack, Author, Ben Brack, Illustrator, Ben Brack, With
Pat Brack, Author, Ben Brack, Illustrator, Ben Brack, With Melius Pub. Corp. $9.95 (106p) ISBN 978-0-937603-07-9
Reviewed on: 05/01/1990
Release date: 05/01/1990
This brief account of a mother's struggle with cancer and its impact on her youngest son offers only limited information and inspiration to those in similar situations. The emotional ups and downs of their daily lives are narrated alternately by Pat Brack, a middle school principal, and her son Ben (in fourth grade when Pat's breast cancer was diagnosed and now 14), whose focus on their own and each other's behavior largely excludes other family members. Ben's trips to summer camp and the rearranging of bedrooms are described along with hospital visits and chemotherapy. But these retrospective accounts bog down in interpretations that seem more self-justifying than incisive. Of Ben's behavior problems, Pat says, ``his less winning traits developed in inverse proportion to our inability sic to cope with them.'' However, a few points do emerge about a child's experience of such illness that parents in comparable situations will want to know. For example, Ben was initially uncomfortable hugging Pat, thinking her cancer was contagious, and several schoolmates taunted him about his mother's illness. Illustrations not seen by PW . First serial to Ladies' Home Journal. (Aug. )
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