Friday, August 15, 2008

After - Book Review

By Francis Chalifour
Tundra Books 2005

Francis Gregory (or Francois Gregoire in French) is a 15 year old boy who lives in Montreal with his parents and his younger brother Luc. The year is 1992. In June of 1992 Francis went on a school trip to New York City. While he was away, his father (who has been unemployed for the previous two years) hung himself in the attic.

The rest of this book is about how Francis grieved and coped for the next 12 months. How he went to school, or didn't go to school. How he went to grief counselling. How he stopped going out with his friends, and how he found his friends again.

This is a short book - only 135 pages. I found it very interesting, how the author goes into the grieving process so well. Almost like he went through the same process himself.

The author Francis (Francois) Chalifour was born in Quebec in 1977. In 1992 he would have been 15 years old. Since the book is set in 1992 with a 15 year old as the main character - it is possible that this novel MAY be semi-autobiographical. Chalifour currently teaches seventh and eighth graders in Toronto, and is also interested in the grieving process for children.

This book was a finalist for the Governor General's Prize in 2005.
I read this book for the Second Canadian Challenge.

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