My Brother Is Away

my brother is away

Book Information

Random House Studio October 2022

Ever imagine how it would feel if your own brother did something bad and had to go to jail?  Know anybody who has a brother in jail right now?

We're about to meet a girl whose brother isn't home right now.  His room is empty,  He doesn't come to dinner anymore.  She remembers that he used to read to her and he used to carry her on his shoulders so she could reach to the moon.  But he doesn't do that now. It can't be easy to be her.

What would it be like to be this girl? What would it be like to have someone say they know her brother did something bad?  What would it be like to visit him in prison?  Would he look the same? Would he even be the same person?

For every child who lives this life with a brother in prison this book says, "I see you."  This book says, "I understand."  Maybe it even says, "It's not your fault."

Here is a chance to have empathy for someone else.  Here is a chance to walk in someone else's shoes for about 40 pages and maybe when you close the book you will be a friend for someone who misses her brother -- because she loves him.

40 pages                                      978-0593127162                                 Ages 5-8

Keywords:  dealing with feelings, dealing with emotions, prison, brothers and sisters, anger, love, family, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old, 8 year old

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,


In this moving picture book, a young girl reflects on the emotions and challenges of growing up with a brother who is incarcerated. This touching story is filled with vivid illustrations and is based on the author’s childhood experiences.

With her older brother in prison, a young girl copes with the confusing feelings his absence creates. At times she remembers the way her brother would carry her on his shoulders or how he would make up stories to tell her at bedtime. Other times she feels angry and wants to fly so far away that she can forget what happened.

When her Mama and Daddy take her on the 500-mile journey to visit him, a trip she knows not all families are able to make, the girl is excited but also nervous. But the nerves turn to joy when she sees him—everything is different, but everything is the same too. Her brother is not home, but his love hasn’t changed.

With words that are spare, gentle, and reassuring, this picture book will help young readers with similar stories feel less alone and give other readers a window into the struggles some children face.---from the publisher

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