40 Forever: The Scar


Moundlic, Charlotte, and Olivier Tallec. The Scar. Somerville, Mass: Candlewick Press, 2011. Print.

When I was little, my Uncle Brian (who was more like a big brother because he was only 8 years older than me and lived with us sometimes) was killed. When my mom and I stayed with my grandparents that summer, I slept in his old bedroom. I used to go into his closet and deeply breathe in his scent which still lingered on his clothes. (When I close my eyes and think back, I can still smell the inside of his favorite baseball cap and feel the soft, yet rough texture of his plaid flannel jacket.)

When he was dying in the hospital, I remember being very angry with my mother for leaving me behind in Connecticut. In fact, I am still ashamed of something I said to her on the phone. I thought that perhaps the whole thing was a farce and everyone was really having a party and just didn’t want to invite me. I said to my poor grieving mother, “I hope you’re having fun.” Even though I was only 10, I still find it hard to forgive myself for that nasty comment.

The Scar is the most accurate depiction of a grieving child that I have ever read. The main character of this outstanding picture book by Charlotte Moundlic and Olivier Tallec is a young boy has just lost his mother. Even though it’s hot and stuffy inside, he doesn’t want anyone to open the windows because he wants to keep his mother’s scent in the house. Unlike many children’s books about death, the story is not overly sweet or sentimental. For instance, the boy even yells at his father and grandmother. When the grandmother consoles him and says that his mother lives in his heart, the boy runs until he is out of breath so that he can feel his mother beating in his chest.

Although it’s about the loss of a mother, this book is for anyone who has ever lost a household member. It literally gives me goose bumps.

Posted by at 12:11 PM

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