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Billy Had to Move
Author: Theresa Fraser
Illustrator: Alex Walton
Review Copy Provided by: Green Books Campaign, via Loving Healing Press
About the Book: Child Protection Services have been involved with Billy and his mother for some time now. He has been happily settled in a kinship placement with his grandmother and enjoys his pet cat, interacting with neighbors and even taking piano lessons. As the story unfolds, Billy's grandmother has unexpectedly passed away and so the story of Billy Had To Move begins.
Unfortunately, Billy's mother cannot be located. Mr. Murphy, Billy's social worker, places him in the foster home of Amy, Tim, and their baby "Colly." Billy experiences great loss resulting not only from his grandmother's death, but also the loss of the life he knew. Billy's inner journey therefore has also begun and with the help of Ms. Woods, a Play Therapist, there is hope.
My Review: I chose Billy Had to Move because, as an educator, I see kids like Billy more often than not. Kids like Billy walk through the door of my school everyday. Some, I know their story, because they are in a wonderful situation and they freely share, but others, I would never know about unless the foster parents tell me or CPS shows up to meet with them and reveals the truth. Truth is, it's reality, and we have to help our kids understand kids like Billy.
That's why I'm glad that this book is available to children. We don't need to hide foster care in our society, we need to embrace it and help the kids that are involved. A children's book is a great way to do that!
The author does a fabulous job of sharing Billy's thoughts with the reader. We don't always know what these kids are thinking and feeling, but with the help of a play therapist, Billy's story, thoughts and feelings are revealed. The counselor on my campus uses play therapy with some of our kiddos and it is fascinating to see it in action. You can learn alot about a child and/or their situation just by listening to them play. Much is revealed in a short time, if you just take the time to listen and make them feel comfortable. That is what Mrs. Woods, the play therapist does for Billy.
This book is sad because it does deal with grief when Billy loses his grandmother. How he deals with that may be different than how you as an adult, would deal with grief, and it's important to share that with children. They can relate to Billy because he is a child, and it may help them to deal with the death of a loved one.
Billy Had to Move is a book that I will definitely be sharing with my counselor. I feel that it would benefit children who experience grief through the loss of a loved one, children who are in or have to be put into foster care. Billy had to learn to live with strangers, and the reality is, many children in our country today are dealing with the same thing. Thank you Theresa Fraser for putting "Billy's" story out there so that others may benefit!