FOR BETTER FOR WORSE

by Janet Bode & Stan Mack

(Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)

BACK / BUY

School Library Journal:
In this refreshingly honest book, seven preteens discuss their experiences with divorce—step-parents, custody arrangements, remarriage, money woes, and more. One uses a comic-strip format; many others comment briefly or share their advice, poetry, and art. Their stories reflect agony, confusion, and the occasional flash of humor. Even the brief comments prove heartrending: "We moved from a house to an apartment," says 12-year-old Alice. "Through the walls I can hear my mom and her latest boyfriend having sex. I hate it." Others seem more accepting of the changes in their lives. Therapists chime in at the end of each narrative to offer insight and remind kids that they aren't to blame. But the best statements, offered bluntly and without sugarcoating, come from the contributors themselves. Their remarks are revealing—for example, 12-year-old Brandon says the best thing about divorce is that "You can get out of trouble because you have a good excuse, the divorce." Others offer strategies for manipulating feuding parents. Readers will recognize and appreciate the honesty here, and the fact that no one offers easy answers. —Miranda Doyle, San Francisco Public Library


Stan Mack 2009 | stan@stanmack.com
design: Mariana Serra | programming: Filipe Murteira