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Author Topic: Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry - Bebe Moore Campbell (Child)  (Read 603 times)
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« on: October 17, 2012, 10:48:42 AM »

Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry
Author: Bebe Moore Campbell, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
Publisher: Puffin (October 6, 2005)
Paperback: 32 pages
ISBN-10: 0142403598
ISBN-13: 978-0142403594

Book Description
Some mornings, Annie's mother's smiles are as bright as sunshine as she makes pancakes for breakfast and helps Annie get ready for school. But other days, her mother doesn't smile at all and gets very angry. Those days Annie has to be a big girl and make her own breakfast, and even put herself to bed at night. But Annie's grandma helps her remember what to do when her mommy isn't well, and her silly friends are there to cheer her up. And no matter what, Annie knows that even when Mommy is angry on the outside, on the inside she never stops loving her.

About the Author

Bebe Moore Campbell (February 18, 1950 – November 27, 2006), was the author of three New York Times bestsellers, Brothers and Sisters, Singing in the Comeback Choir, and What You Owe Me, which was also a Los Angeles Times "Best Book of 2001." Her other works include the novel Your Blues Ain't Like Mine, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and the winner of the NAACP Image Award for Literature; her memoir, Sweet Summer: Growing Up With and Without My Dad, and her first nonfiction book, Successful Women, Angry Men: Backlash in the Two-Career Marriage. Her essays, articles, and excerpts appear in many anthologies. Campbell's interest in mental health was the catalyst for her first children's book, Sometimes My Mommy Gets Angry, which was published in September 2003. This book won the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) Outstanding Literature Award for 2003.

Reading level: Ages 5 and up.

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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 11:39:23 AM »

I asked my granddaughter, age 7, if she wanted to read this book with me. She said maybe later and stuck it away in her bookcase. I can only make assumptions about her resistance. As her grandma in a recovering place with bipolar II disorder, and at times the very angry one, maybe it was too much to deal with this directly for her. I get especially angry when my granddaughter is in her defiant mood – all those normal kid places to be defiant; transitions, cleaning up, homework, eating, bedtime. Her mommy also struggles with issues including borderline personality disorder and substance abuse, though things are in a much better place with mommy right now. As grandparents, my husband and I have had custody and primary care of our granddaughter since infancy. I wish Annie, the character in the story, had someone to live with her and her mommy – more than just being next door or a phone call away.

This book is a very sad story, and makes me want to hug this lonely child who needs the safety plan that keeps her life going when her mom withdraws in depression – irritability, anger, withdrawal and neglect. I have struggled with all these, yet have worked very hard to have other adults as caregivers in both my daughter’s (when she was a child, she is now 26) and granddaughter’s lives. We currently all live together along with the grandpa who has become a stabilizing force in the family. We also have a plan when things seem too angry in our house that includes friends and neighbors support. These were put into place when the mommy returned to our home, yet I realize that sometimes they are used by my granddaughter when I am having a bad day.

This book is similar to the book “An Umbrella for Alex” except it has a much sadder tone, and Annie does not have the stabilizing factor of a father in the home that Alex does. Both provide strategies for self-care – both mentally and physically. Both use analogy to cloudy and sunny moods and their unpredictability with a parent with mental illness. And they both do this without using the words “mental illness”. This is a good thing for my family since my daughter would get triggered if her child used any labels with her.

It is an individual decision to read this with your child to share how Annie copes with living aone with her bipolar mom.



The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. (Dom Helder)
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