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Reviewed by Rosie Malezer for Readers' Favorite
In Father’s Day, a short story by Valerie Allen, it is the last week of school for Brandon, an honor roll student who will be starting his senior year at high school next year. Brandon's mother, Deanna, is worried about her son after his AP English teacher rang. During the last four days of school, Brandon is required to write an English essay each day, but there is one essay that Brandon simply refuses to write, titled Father's Day. When Deanna saw this, both Brandon and his mother cried. It was not so long ago when people patted Brandon on the back, telling him that his father died a hero. But all Brandon can feel is anger that his father got himself killed, all in the name of collateral damage.
I cried while reading Father's Day. It was easy to empathize with Brandon over his loss, and Valerie Allen's heartfelt tale shows the raw pain that can rip through the ones that the deceased has left behind. My own father's death is still very raw, and I cannot even imagine what life would have been like if I had lost him as a child. People not only feel sadness at the loss but also betrayal and anger at their loved one having been taken away. The loss is painful and senseless. It feels cruel and the anger that brews at that loss and being left behind - no matter who you are - is sometimes just too much to bear. I thank Valerie Allen for this well-written tale filled with so much emotion and recommend it be read by those who are working their way through their grief, regardless of their age, so they can hope for a better tomorrow.