Review: The Girl Death Left Behind – Grieving and Growing Up

Posted April 23, 2015 in Reading, Review / 0 Comments

Review: The Girl Death Left Behind – Grieving and Growing UpThe Girl Death Left Behind by Lurlene McDaniel
Publisher: Laurel Leaf (1999)
Paperback (176 pages)
Reading Challenges: 2015 Birthday Month, 2015 Re-Reading, Read 2015


Beth’s world has been torn apart. She cannot figure out how to go on when a car accident claims the lives of her entire family, and she is the only survivor. Things seem to get even worse when she moves in with her aunt and her spoiled cousin, Terri. But with the love and support of her aunt and some unexpected friends, Beth struggles to overcome the despair that threatens to consume her. Will she be able to move past the painful memories without feeling guilty for being a survivor?

Find the book: Goodreads

My Review

This is the first Lurlene McDaniel book I read way back in grade school.

On the day of her father’s company’s annual picnic, Beth Haxton stays home with the flu while her parents, sister, and brother head out. Before making it to the picnic, there is an accident. Beth’s parents and both her younger siblings are pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.

Beth is now an orphan under the guardianship of her aunt and uncle. She has to move away from her home in Chattanooga, Tennessee to live with her mother’s sister, her husband, and their daughter in Tampa, Florida.

The story follows Beth as she deals with her grief. At the same time she has to adjust to living with her spoiled cousin Terri, moving away from her home and all her friends, and starting a new school in Tampa.

I really like this book because it is a quick easy read that deals with some very important topics: grief, moving, fitting in, acceptance, and growth.

Catholic Connections

*Spoiler Alert*
In order to analyze the text and make these connections, there may be some spoilers.
Please do not continue reading unless you have already read the book
or you don’t mind if you read some spoilers.
*Spoiler Alert*

Grief takes time to move through. With family there, there will always be a way through. Blinded by the grief of everything that happened, Beth and Terri could no really see each other. Beth saw a spoiled girl who didn’t know how lucky she was. Terri saw a cousin who didn’t care about her and couldn’t see how much Terri’s parents were doing for her. By the end, they are able to truly see each other and begin to work through everything together. They are truly each other’s family. It seems like it is something small but I think it is something huge, something vitally important for each girl.

Which Reading Challenges?

  • You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
  • Birthday Month Reading Challenge (April)
  • Hard-Core Rereading Challenge


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