Can You Hear Me?

Finding Hope After Loss

Children - Religious Theme
64 Pages
Reviewed on 06/26/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Y.Y. Chan was born in Hong Kong but grew up in sunny Brisbane, Australia where she had Christmas during summer. She returned to Hong Kong to teach English after graduating from university. When her father passed away, she took a break from teaching to travel, read, and write. She now tutors English and works freelance for different educational institutes.

Her best writing comes out late at night when everyone else is asleep. 'Can You Hear Me, Daddy?' is her debut picture book. When she is not writing or teaching, she is either reading or looking for more books to add to her overflowing bookshelf.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alyssa Elmore for Readers' Favorite

A young girl discovers the hidden blessings in her father's illness in the inspiring children's book, Can You Hear Me? (Finding Hope After Loss) by Y. Y. Chan. Twelve-year-old Renee comes home from school to find Daddy home from work several hours earlier than usual. He gently tells Renee and Mummy that he is sick with cancer. Devastated and afraid, Renee starts praying that God will intervene and cure Daddy. Unwilling to share her pain with her friends, she keeps quiet and instead writes in her diary. As the days pass, Daddy has his good days and his bad days. After experiencing the pain and horror of chemo, Renee is determined not to give up on Daddy's healing but is getting frustrated with God. Can God hear her? When one of her teachers at church notices a difference in Renee, she offers to listen and help if she can. Renee admits that she hasn't told anyone of Daddy's sickness; not even her classmates. Her teacher suggests that she share her pain; it isn't healthy to keep everything bottled up inside. She also suggests that Renee start keeping a list of the good things that have happened since Daddy got sick. Still rather angry at God, Renee tries her teacher's suggestion. Will finding the good within the bad and the pain of fatal disease help Renee come to terms with the death of her father? Or will she lose her faith?

Can You Hear Me? (Finding Hope After Loss) by Y. Y. Chan is a poignant story of hope and loss. Written like a diary, this book is perfect for children experiencing and who have recently experienced the loss of a loved one. Inspiring its readers to keep their faith and see the positive through death, the story finishes with a discussion page and a personal note from the author relating her experience of losing her father to illness and her grandmother shortly thereafter. The story, though painfully sad, imparts hope and eternal love. I appreciated the ending; heaven does give our loved ones superpowers so that they can still hear us and let us know that we are loved, and they are still with us. The author has also included a link for a picture book version of the story for younger children. I recommend this book to children ages seven to twelve.

K.C. Finn

Can You Hear Me? is a work of fiction penned for children by author Y. Y. Chan. The book handles some difficult themes, but it is also a work of Christian fiction that aims to pass on the message of God and faith during the storyline as well. We focus on a young girl called Renee, who discovers that her father is suffering from cancer. Renee examines the nature of prayer and asks important questions about why God would allow this to happen to her father. Through her pain and her experiences, Renee comes to understand the true nature of faith and how she can remain connected to her father even if he does go to Heaven.

Comforting and relatable, author Y. Y. Chan has crafted a really heartfelt and helpful volume for young Christian readers who may be going through a tough time. This is a book for a specific purpose in a young child’s life, but I feel that its message of love and faith could be read by any family at any time to understand the central themes and Christian ideas better. It is a powerful and emotive text, and I thought that the diary entry style of the work was highly effective because it feels as though Renee is speaking directly to the reader when she examines her thoughts and expresses her feelings so freely. Overall, I would recommend Can You Hear Me? as a compassionate work that is sure to help many young readers overcome doubts and questions.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Losing a loved one is difficult at any age. But for a child, it’s unthinkable. Cancer has a way of infiltrating the lives of so many families. When young Renee learns her father has cancer, she goes through a wide range of emotions from fear and disbelief to intense sadness, especially as her father’s condition worsens and he eventually dies. At first, Renee doesn’t want to tell anyone about her father’s illness, not even her best friend. Writing in her journal is her only solace and she keeps lists of what she’s thankful for. Most important, she prays.

Y.Y. Chan’s children’s story, Can You Hear Me?, traces a young girl’s journey through her father’s illness and death. The story is told in the first person from Renee’s perspective in a collection of journal entries where Renee records the stages of her father’s illness and the growing fears she experiences. The young girl also shares her prayers, her faith, her growing lists, and challenging questions, like the understandable question surrounding her fear that she did something wrong to cause her father’s illness. The journal entries include conversations with her father and his encouragement that she'll keep on writing and reading her stories to him, even when he’s in heaven. She asks her father if he’ll be able to hear her when he’s in heaven. He assures her that he will, but the question keeps resurfacing, even after his death: “Can you hear me, Daddy?” It reinforces the bond of love as she and her mother recover from the loss and the painful ensuing grief. This is a powerful story that will help readers of all ages deal with their grief. Told with care and compassion.