Hyperion Books for Children

April 2004

$15.99 US

64p hc

ISBN: 978-0786807789

What Is Goodbye?

Nikki Grimes

illustrations by Raul Colon

from the book...

Jerilyn and Jesse have lost their beloved older brother. But each of them deals with Jaron's death differently. Jerilyn tries to keep it in and hold it together; Jesse acts out. But after a year of anger, pain, and guilt, they come to understand that it's time to move on. It's time for a new family picture-with one piece missing, yet whole again.


Through the alternating voices of a brother and sister, Nikki Grimes eloquently portrays the grieving process in this gem of a book that is honest, powerful, and ultimately hopeful.

If you have read this verse novel and would like to share your opinion of it with other readers please send your review or comments to YARR-A

What is Goodbye? is about a young boy, Jesse and his sister, Jerilyn and how they cope when their brother dies. They both lived with their brother Jaron and their parents until it happened, the thing that would change their lives for ever, “What is Goodbye?” and “How are we just meant to take your word that our brother is dead when we didn’t get to say goodbye?” are two questions that are raised by this story.

This book has coloured pictures all the way through; I liked the pictures in this book and think that they represent the story a lot. The theme in this book is loss and recovery. I would recommend the story for the age group of 11 to 16 whom I think would really enjoy it. Although it was quite sad I still enjoyed it and felt I could easily relate to it.

Philippa, Year 6, Canberra, Australia

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