Jackie's Reviews > What Jamie Saw

What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman
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's review
Mar 24, 10

bookshelves: abuse, children-fiction, newbery-honor-book, single-parent-family, challenged-books
Read on March 24, 2010

Third grader, Jamie and his infant sister, Nin live with Patty, his mother and step-father, Van. One night, Jamie awakes to his step-father poised to footfall-toss crying Nin towards the wall. Luckily, Patty catches Nin in mid-flight without being harmed. Hurriedly, Patty gathers up Jamie and Nin and high-tails it out of the house and seeks shelter with old friend, Earl.

After being exposed to Van's violence, Jamie exhibits some tendencies towards abuse himself. Patty is bewildered, frustrated, and overwhelmed by her financial, emotional, and stressful situation. When Jamie's teacher, Mrs. Desrochers reaches out to the family and offers her assistance and guidance, Patty feels she has the strength to carry her through this most troubling time.

Patty's first and foremost concern is her children. She tries to take all the necessary steps to keep all of them out of danger. Even when Van suddenly shows up at their door, Patty and Jamie face their fears and present a solitary front. What Jamie Saw goes way beyond the danger inflicted upon a child who is witness to child abuse...it also shows us the repercussions it can exhibit in the bystander.

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