Reading about dementia is not, perhaps, what immediately springs to mind when considering your summer book list but there is an ever-growing body of work that interweaves accurate representations of dementia with very good story-telling. Here’s three for your consideration. If you would like to borrow any of these books, please contact us at the library or it may also be possible to source these from your local library.
All That’s Missing by Sarah Sullivan (2013)
This book has appeal for teenage and adult readers alike. A fantastic story, told with sensitivity and insight into the complicated situations families find themselves in and the unique solutions that can sometimes be found when circumstances demand it. All That’s Missing would be suitable for readers from the age of 12 years +.
Arlo’s grandfather travels in time. Not literally — he just mixes up the past with the present. Arlo holds on as best he can, fixing himself cornflakes for dinner and paying back the owner of the corner store for the sausages Poppo eats without remembering to pay. But how long before someone finds out that Arlo is taking care of the grandfather he lives with instead of the other way around? When Poppo lands in the hospital and a social worker comes to take charge, Arlo’s fear of foster care sends him alone across three hundred miles. Armed with a name and a town, Arlo finds his only other family member — the grandmother he doesn’t remember ever meeting. But just finding her isn’t enough to make them a family. Unfailingly honest and touched with a dash of magical realism, Sarah Sullivan’s evocative debut novel delves into a family mystery and unearths universal truths about home, trust, friendship, and strength — all the things a boy needs.
The Things Between Us – Living Words: Anthology 1 – Words and Poems of People Experiencing Dementia / Illustrated by Julia Miranda, Introduction by Lynda Bellingham, Compiled by Susanna Howard (2014)
‘This is an important collection of witnessings to an important subject, and valuable for what it addresses, as well as the way it addresses.’ Sir Andrew Motion
‘This is poetry from a place where we assume there are no more words to come, which makes it all the more powerful, moving and important. This book should be essential reading for every surgery care home and hospital and for all of us who are living with loved ones with dementia.’ Meera Syal OBE
‘I would so love to have had this book when my mother was struggling with Alzheimer’s.’ Lynda Bellingham OBE
Living Words has been working in the UK with people experiencing dementia since late 2007. This anthology contains a selection of their words and poems.
Under the rose bush / Jane Fry ; illustrator Sandi Harrold ( 2013)
Under the rose bush is a short story which explores a touching relationship between a young girl and her grandmother who develops Alzheimers disease.
Sarah and her Granny are great friends. They spend a lot of time playing and learning together, gradually Sarah notices changes in her Granny. Sarah learns to adjust to the situation as her grandmother ages. Her story provides a sense of optimism despite the grief of eventually losing her beloved grandmother.
The book helps children to understand the illness and teaches them how to cope with supporting their grandparents through a difficult time.