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Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite
A young girl discovers the hidden blessings in her father's illness in the inspiring children's book, Can You Hear Me? (Finding Hope After Loss) by Y. Y. Chan. Twelve-year-old Renee comes home from school to find Daddy home from work several hours earlier than usual. He gently tells Renee and Mummy that he is sick with cancer. Devastated and afraid, Renee starts praying that God will intervene and cure Daddy. Unwilling to share her pain with her friends, she keeps quiet and instead writes in her diary. As the days pass, Daddy has his good days and his bad days. After experiencing the pain and horror of chemo, Renee is determined not to give up on Daddy's healing but is getting frustrated with God. Can God hear her? When one of her teachers at church notices a difference in Renee, she offers to listen and help if she can. Renee admits that she hasn't told anyone of Daddy's sickness; not even her classmates. Her teacher suggests that she share her pain; it isn't healthy to keep everything bottled up inside. She also suggests that Renee start keeping a list of the good things that have happened since Daddy got sick. Still rather angry at God, Renee tries her teacher's suggestion. Will finding the good within the bad and the pain of fatal disease help Renee come to terms with the death of her father? Or will she lose her faith?
Can You Hear Me? (Finding Hope After Loss) by Y. Y. Chan is a poignant story of hope and loss. Written like a diary, this book is perfect for children experiencing and who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one. Inspiring its readers to keep their faith and see the positive through death, the story finishes with a discussion page and a personal note from the author relating her experience of losing her father to illness and her grandmother shortly thereafter. The story, though painfully sad, imparts hope and eternal love. I appreciated the ending; heaven does give our loved ones superpowers so that they can still hear us and let us know that we are loved, and they are still with us. The author has also included a link for a picture book version of the story for younger children. I recommend this book to children ages seven to twelve.