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Children's Fiction Orphans & Foster Homes

Jason's Why

by (author) Beth Goobie

Red Deer Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
Orphans & Foster Homes, New Experience, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Physical & Emotional Abuse
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

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Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels

  • Age: 9 to 12
  • Grade: 4 to 7


2014 Silver Birch Express Award nominee

Jason's mom says he is a problem, and puts him in a group home. Now Jason has to live with boys and grown-ups he doesn't know.
Jason thinks, Now I'm in a house that isn't my house. I watch their hands and feet. When hands and feet move fast, you're going to get hit.
There's a big bubble of mad inside Jason. It makes him yell and throw things. Jason wants to be good and move home again, but the mad bubble just won't go away.

About the author

In high school Beth Goobie studied and taught piano, wrote stories, and was the recipient of academic and citizenship awards. She worked for a year as a nanny in Holland, then moved to Winnipeg where she studied English literature at the University of Winnipeg (receiving the gold medal) and religious studies at the Mennonite Brethren Bible College. She has worked for many years with physically and sexually abused children and is concerned with issues surrounding the anger and powerlessness of those under legal age. Addressing these issues in her writing, she has published several novels for young adults, including Born Ugly, Mission Impossible, The Lottery and Before Wings, as well as poems and short stories for an adult audience in anthologies and magazines such as Fiddlehead, Malahat Review and Quarry. She lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.

Beth Goobie's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Told in first person present tense using a hi-low format, Jason's account is both illuminating and moving. . . this title is recommended for Jason's honest portrayal of a child learning to cope with a difficult life."
CM Magazine

"Jason's Whyis an exceptionally brave little novel that packs a big punch. Goobie has painted a remarkable picture of nine-year-old Jason, a child who deeply struggles with his anger issues, but who is also not to blame for being angry. . . Jason's Why is a valuable classroom resource that would be an excellent starting point for discussion about issues like bullying, mental health, tolerance and empathy. "
Canadian Children Booknews

"A profoundly moving and beautifully written first-person account of the feelings and experiences of this at-risk boy, Jason's Why is a thought-provoking book for readers from Grade 4."

"A great gift for a youth residential treatment centre, a classroom library, or anyone with a social conscience, Jason's Why by Beth Goobie illustrates for Grades 4 to 8 a story not often seen in children's fiction. Nine-year-old Jason has an abusive family and behavioral problems - a combination of challenges that lands him in a group home where he begins to envision positive change. I love Jason's Why for the windows and mirrors it provides to readers - for the safe context it offers regarding a worthy exploration of difficulties familiar to many Canadian kids."
The Ottawa Citizen

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