Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tangles by Sarah Leavitt

Book Information
Leavitt, Sarah. Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me. Calgary, Alberta: Freehand Books, September 2010.

My Review
Tangles is Sarah Leavitt's first book, and is a current finalist for the Alberta's Reader's Choice Award (to be awarded in June, 2011). Leavitt's decision to describe her family's odyssey with Alzheimer's in the graphic novel format is quite inspired -- readers can easily see and begin to understand the changes that Alzheimer's causes.

The drawings are black and white and simple, but quite demonstrative. The way in which Leavitt drew "holding hands" by drawing two connected arms is a visual demonstration of the family's love for one another. This book is filled with the many moments of frustration, love, sadness and humour that are experienced by families who care for people with memory challenges. Sarah Leavitt's mother, Midge, was really blessed to have a family who loved and cared for her so deeply.

More Reading for Caregivers/Families of Individuals with Alzheimer's/Dementia

The Sunshine On My Face By Lydia Burdick is a picture book designed to stimulate conversations with older adults who have Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia.

My Notes
This book was difficult for me to review (in several drafts!), particularly because I cared for my grandmother, who had dementia. Sarah Leavitt has done a wonderful job of depicting the frustrations (and the few joys!) of memory challenges.

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