Bee and Jackie

Bee and Jacky

Carolyn Coman

A brother and sister bear the scars of a childhood in which they sought comfort and safety in each other, but played games of power and loss instead.

Years after the return of their seriously wounded father from Vietnam, 13-year-old Bee Cooney and her older brother, Jacky, still bear their own scars—the result of a childhood spent entangled with each other as they fought to cope with their losses. The memories have not faded. On Labor Day weekend, when their parents are away, Bee and Jacky return to the shameful games of their childhood—and destroy, then transform, their lives. With mastery and grace, multiple award-winner Carolyn Coman has created a novel that looks deep into the heart of one particular family.


  • Ages: 14–17
  • Grades: 9–12
  • Pages: 128

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Recent Reviews

Proves Coman’s extraordinary talent for creating complex images with simple words and her remarkable ability to elicit sympathy for all the characters.

—Booklist

Coman’s latest is the literary equivalent of a Diane Arbus photograph; it presents a sharp, shocking picture of pathology, but leaves it to the audience to imagine the world beyond the frame.

—Publishers Weekly

This brilliantly written novel centers around a critical weekend in the lives of a brother and sister who have an incestuous relationship ... What Coman does offer, masterfully, is honesty, compassion, and even a glimmer of hope.

—School Library Journal

Coman’s intriguing combination of detachment and emotional sensitivity works even better here than it did in What Jamie Saw ... a spare yet intimate encounter with a teen at the critical moment when things move beyond the way they used to be.

—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Startling and real, Coman reaches readers on a visceral level.

—Voice of Youth Advocates

Powerfully and concisely written, Coman tackles huge issues including a teen’s growing sexual awareness, incest, the human need for intimacy, and families in pain.

—Children's Literature


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