Everything you need to understand or teach Rabbit Cake by Hartnett, Annie .
In this piece of realistic fiction, twelve-year-old Elvis Babbitt copes with her mother’s recent death through a first person narrative account that tends toward the surreal, humorous, and poignant as much as grief itself does. She attempts to investigate the circumstances of her mother’s death while also managing a sleepwalking-prone sister who gets institutionalized and a father who wears his dead wife’s bathrobe and lipstick around the house. Elvis uses her encyclopedic knowledge of the animal world to help her understand the human world around her. Her most important discovery, however, is not an unambiguous fact or piece of information; she discovers that to mourn and grieve is a murky process that becomes less painful with time and loved ones--of both the human and animal varieties.