Jeremy's whole life changed the day his mother left.
When his mother leaves with the father of his worst enemy at school, nine-year-old Jeremy seeks to make sense of her abandonment. He throws himself into recreating the Book of Birds, a collection of drawings that his mother took with her on the day she left. While his father fights his own depression and his sister distances herself from their lives, Jeremy turns wholeheartedly to nature, and finds solace in the quiet comfort of drawing.
In this novel, James Prosek tells Jeremy's story without blame, without self-pity, and without excuses. The Day My Mother Left should be read by anyone who has gone through the pain of losing a parent, and by anyone who wants to meet Jeremy, a boy who can see inside himself the person he wants to become.
Prosek (A Good Day's Fishing) movingly chronicles young Jeremy's emotional upheaval after his mother abandons the family, in this sophisticated novel. Often teased as a "mama's boy," Jeremy feels forlorn without his mother, who left to live with another man. As the boy's father slips into a deep depression, and his 16-year-old sister is increasingly absent, Jeremy seeks refuge with his beloved Uncle John (their celebration of the boy's 10th birthday draws upon the author's interest in fishing) and at the home of his best friend, Stephen. Throughout his ordeal, Jeremy's drawings give him a source of strength, and pen-and-inks attributed to Jeremy pepper the narrative. His father's girlfriend, Susan, reaches out to Jeremy by giving him some much-needed attention, along with art supplies that belonged to her father. The author credibly depicts how Susan's kindness demonstrates to Jeremy just how self-absorbed his mother had been. Prosek also conveys Jeremy's inner struggle after he learns that his mother has been in contact with his sister; the boy's feelings of confusion, betrayal and anger surface even as he tries to suppress them. After three years, Jeremy eventually finds a way to reconnect with his mother on his terms, and readers will feel hopeful for the hero, even if he cannot yet recognize his own strength. Ages 12-up.