A seven-year-old girl records the sudden death of her beloved older brother by writing her personal feelings in her diary. In her own innocent way, she tells about being able to see him when no one else can. She embraces this ability and is not afraid.
Throughout this tender book, the little girl relates her experiences in feeling her brother’s nearness, even when she cannot see him anymore. In her own trusting way, she knows that everything will be all right, and through her honest feelings, she is able to help her parents cope with their loss. She also learns about angels and knows that her brother is safe.
Dear Diary: My Brother Died Today is the third in a trilogy about the circle of life. The story enables children to perceive the life in heaven that awaits them. Although fictional, the story’s events could actually happen.
It’s been a while since I’ve read a children’s book about grief or dying, and I forgot how writing so simple can affect you so deeply. Courtney does a great job of emulating the writing and drawings of a young girl grieving the loss of her big brother. You can tell that she has been around children because the story feels genuine and is certainly heartfelt. I think that this book would be great for young children who might have trouble expressing their feelings at the loss of a loved one. However, I think the spiritual element might be off putting if the family does not believe in an afterlife and angels.
Suzanne Gene (Davis) Courtney comes from a family of teachers. She has taught several subjects and grade levels over a span of thirty years. Retiring in 2011, she moved to Austin, TX, in 2015 to be closer to her children and
grandchildren and continue her writing aspirations.
Suzanne has three children, Laura, Gregg, and Daniel. Daniel passed away unexpectedly in 1997 in Hawaii, where he was born. Devastated, she began to write. At first, she wrote poems of angst and darkness, then while healing, poems of understanding and hope surfaced.
To date, she has authored five books, with another due later this year. Four of the six books deal with death and grief with words of support to help the bereaved. Being a former elementary teacher, she has worked with many children experiencing loss. Two of her books, incorporate her experiences while traveling and are meant for pure reading enjoyment. Book awards to date are: Indie Excellence Award (Finalist), Character Building Counts Award (Silver), Great Southwest Book Festival (Honorable Mention), and Pacific Rim Book Festival (Honorable Mention).
Book signings at various sites around Texas so far include: the Author Extravaganza in Llano, and the Texas Book Festival in Austin. She will be presenting her books for the classroom in several schools in the area soon.
Suzanne is a member of the following organizations: SCBWI Austin, The Writers League of TX, Texas Authors Association, Alpha Xi Delta Alumni, and Reiki Master Teacher.