|Title: A Hero in Gray
By: Cherie L Braham
Categories / Themes: childhood illness, confidence, picture book.
Read: 06th October, 2016
Rating: 4 / 5
Crossposted Review to: Goodreads
A Hero in Gray takes a look at the challenges that a young boy must face. Cherie L Braham’s book features Grayson (also known as Gray), a young boy with cancer. Throughout his struggles, Gray keeps a strong mind, has a lot of help from those around him and tries to keep the illness from negatively affecting his life.
The images are a fantastic view into Grayson’s life and we get to experience the joys of his surroundings. Children will love to take a look into the many activities he does. We get a glimpse into the farm life and in the kitchen. We get to see the things he does with his mother and his father. It’s also great for children to see the hobbies he has; children with illnesses of their own might be limited in some ways, but it ought to encourage them to try something different that they might enjoy. I think many children will find something similar to their own lives and consider him to be relatable. I appreciate that the author doesn’t go into too much detail with any symptoms Gray experiences; it’s limited to things like being tired and not feeling well. I think this is very appropriate as many children might feel somewhat uncomfortable or confused if it were more in-depth.
My only real problem with the book is that the text isn’t very engaging as others are and doesn’t seem to be a “join in” book like others are. With many other picture books I’ve read, there is often poetry and invitations for the readers to play along through the experience. The way Braham writes is a little bit stiff. In the first block of text, it just seems like Grayson’s appearance is being listed to us, rather than a proper introduction.
Through Grayson’s life, I think there will be a lot of topics that a parent or guardian might discuss with their child. Obviously some might not understand things like cancer, but I think this book will help children to understand that there are all sorts of people battling the illness, even other children just like them. Primarily, it’s a book that will raise confidence in a youth. It can be used as a gateway to teach your child a little bit about the struggles of others or to keep a confident attitude. Also, to those around him, Gray is seen as a hero. I think that it’s a very sentimental quality as it teaches children that there are a multitude of heroes in the world that you can look to for inspiration and support. Another thought is that I think it might make some a little more considerate of others’ problems; if a friend doesn’t want to play anymore, the child might respect those wishes even if they don’t fully understand them. Even if cancer isn’t involved in the readers’ life, I still think that ‘A Hero in Gray’ will teach any child a few valuable lessons.
Just another note for people wanting to avoid such things: there are religious references.
I won a copy of this book via Goodreads Giveaways and these are just my honest thoughts on it.