Mama Cried by Talia Haven

HavenMamaCriedWhere I Got It: Review copy from the author (thanks!)

Publisher: Sheehan & Haven (2015)

Length: 12 pages

Illustrator: Sytiva Sheehan

Author’s Page

Jenny and her pet puppies are goofing of on the playground at the swings. Like all the other kids, it is an endless round of playing, zipping from one game to another. At least, until a kid’s guardian comes for them. Then, the kid never returns. Today, Jenny’s guardian, Azula, comes for her. It is time for her to make a major decision.

If you read the description of the book, if you look at the cover, if you check out the illustrator’s page, if you check out the author’s page, then you would probably never suspect just how creepy this story is. There’s rainbows and puppies all over the place and therefore, I never suspected the suspense and deep story that I would find within.

Without giving too much away, Jenny has been in some kind of limbo. Now, she must face her killer one last time and decide his fate. The limbo has been the playground where she and her puppies, who grow into protective adult hounds, romped and played. Azula, who is her guardian, is also the adult voice that pushes Jenny forward in the story. It’s a pretty serious story.

I enjoyed the tale for its weightiness. Also, I like the idea that those we harm have some say in what our afterlife will be like. In this tale, we never learn the specifics on how Jenny died. I really liked that this was left up to the reader to speculate on. Drunk driver? Child rapist? Mowing accident? You could read a lot into your own issues based on what you assumed, if you are in to that sort of thing.

What I Liked: Serious story; tackling of the afterlife; protective hounds.

What I Disliked: The title almost turned me off from reading this story and, in retrospect, I don’t feel it encompasses all the awesomeness that this story is.

What Others Think: 

Author Larry Eissler

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Open Book Society

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