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What Jamie Saw by Carolyn Coman

What Jamie Saw (1995)

by Carolyn Coman

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4111540,235 (3.87)4
Having fled to a family friend's hillside trailer after his mother's boyfriend tried to throw his baby sister against a wall, nine-year-old Jamie finds himself living an existence full of uncertainty and fear.

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A young boy, his mom, and his baby sister flee from the abusive Van, after Jamie (the boy) sees Van throw his baby sister across the room. They move into a tiny trailer out in the middle of nowhere and both Jamie and his mother struggle to sort out their emotions and fears, while Jamie's mother also struggles to make ends meet.
A powerful subject and a fair-to-middling treatment. Still, possibly a good introduction to breaching the subject with young minds. ( )
  electrascaife | Oct 7, 2019 |
This Newbery Honor book didn't feel like a book for children or young adults. It felt like masterfully written short story for adults. The protagonist is a child, but I think the audience is adult.

As the book opens, Jamie, a third grade boy who lives with his baby sister, his mother, and her boyfriend, looks up to see the boyfriend throwing his baby sister across the room. His mother catches the baby, and she is fine, but she packs up her two children and leaves that very moment.

The rest of book covers the few weeks after they leave, as his mother, struggling both financially and emotionally, tries to figure out how to make things work.

A simple, beautiful, and emotion filled little book. ( )
  fingerpost | Nov 10, 2017 |
Jamie sees his baby sister thrown across the room, and from then on, he and his family are living in fear. Jamie, his mother, and baby Nin head off to start again on their own. For the most part, the family is just living on hope, but Jamie is confused. He wants life to be normal and simple, but he knows that his mother is truly afraid of her ex coming back. It's a beautifully written story of fear and standing up for yourself. Although it's not written in 1st person, it's almost as if the writing is based off of Jamie's thinking process. It's a great chapter book for advanced third graders or 4th-5th grade. Hopefully students will take away an important lesson that people of any age are capable of showing courage in big ways. ( )
  ghelmus | Jun 17, 2014 |
In “What Jamie Saw” Jamie witnesses his mom’s boyfriend treating his little sister badly. The mom gets upset and takes the children away. She goes to a close friend and he puts them up in a house that he owns in the middle of nowhere. They live there for a while until the mom’s ex-boyfriend, or the one they moved away from, finds the family and tries to make things all better. The mom simply tells him that she is not interested. Unfortunately, sometimes this happens in real life and think children can learn that, although it is not okay or right, things happen and they just need to get themselves out of the situation.
1. Talk about abusive people and tendencies and how to avoid them
  katiekinsey | Apr 21, 2013 |
This 1996 Newbery Honor book was also a finalist for the National Book Award. It packs a punch in a mere 126 pages and it addresses a social issue that is compelling and necessary to discuss, ie the impact that adult decisions have upon their small children. Jamie's mother chose to subject her children in an unsafe situation. In the end, Jamie's mother also chose a path toward better decisions.

Short of fuse and long of violence, the boyfriend of Jamie's mother symbolizes the terror that children feel when life spins out of control.

Jamie saw Van violently lift and attempt to throw his infant sister Nin against a wall. Nin was crying and it inconvenienced Van. Luckily Jamie's mother caught the baby before she hit the wall.

As they find rescue in the home of another of his mother's friends, and then move on to a trailer deep in the woods, Jamie's fears and terrors surface. In hibernation, Jamie's family are sitting ducks for Van to return and harm again.

When a teacher reaches out and helps pave the way for safe decisions, it then enables Jamie and his mother to stand up to Van.

While this is a heavy book, laden with difficult subjects of abuse, fear, helplessness, it is also a book of hope when Jamie and his mother accept loving resources available.

Highly recommended. ( )
  Whisper1 | Sep 12, 2012 |
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When Jamie saw him throw the baby, saw Van throw the little baby, saw Van throw his little sister Nin, then they moved.
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Average: (3.87)
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3 6
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3 editions of this book were published by namelos.

Editions: 160898138X, 1608981371, 1608980022

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