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A Season for Mangoes by Regina Hanson

A Season for Mangoes

by Regina Hanson

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A child dealing with the death of her nana and her family's old traditions to honor her Nana.

Pierce College Library System
  E.V. | Jun 13, 2016 |
Sareen, a young girl in Jamaica, is attending her first “sit-up,” a wake for her beloved Nana who has died. In Jamaican tradition, a ghost, or “duppy” stays for nine nights after death. On the ninth night, friends and family hold a “sit-up” to entertain the ghost so it will leave and find peace. In the note at the end of this book, the author writes that while wake customs have changed over time, Jamaican children still love “duppy stories” – especially because they honor the person who has died and affirm their lives. Between stories the celebrants feast on traditional foods, like curried goat and boiled green bananas.

Sareen wants to tell stories about her nana, but she is afraid she will burst into tears. Or maybe worse, what if when she tries to speak, no sound comes out of her mouth?

In the end, Sareen finds the courage from her love, and manages to tell her story of trying to find the sweetest mango for her sick nana. Happy she could participate, she joins in the dance at sunrise to see her nana off to her rest.

Evaluation: This heartwarming story, illustrated with portrait-like pictures by the talented Eric Velasquez, is a good way to show children how to deal with death, while simultaneously teaching about the people and customs of Jamaica. ( )
  nbmars | Jun 8, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 061815972X, Hardcover)

Sareen is attending her first sit-up, a Jamaican tradition that celebrates the life of a loved one who has died. The whole village has come to share memories of Sareen’s Nana. Sareen wants to tell her stories of Nana’s last mango season and their search for the perfect mango, but she’s afraid the words won’t come or that she’ll begin to cry. It’s only when Sareen faces her fear that she realizes it’s not the sadness of Nana’s death that she’ll remember best but the joy of Nana’s life.

Set amid the rich culture and lush scenery of Jamaica, this moving book offers the hope of rediscovering joy after a loss and pays tribute to the remarkable power of story: to touch, to connect, and to heal.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:22 -0400)

In Jamaica, Sareen is concerned about participating in her first sit-up, a celebration of the life of her recently deceased grandmother, but discovers that sharing her stories of Nana's passion for mangoes helps lift the sadness.

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