Divorce (The Real Deal) ISBN: 9780431908120
Mattern, Joanne
Published by Heinemann Raintree, 2009
In this series of books aimed at upper primary and secondary children, a range of topics about health and social issues is covered. Quite detailed information includes Case Studies and Newsflash boxes, Top Tips boxes giving ways to cope, and What Do You Think boxes giving questions for discussion. 'Divorce' deals first with a definition of what it is, the differences between separation and divorce, and the fact that divorce means many changes for all concerned. The reasons why parents may decide to divorce are given and there are facts about the consequences of divorcing - financial concerns, moving house, etc. The feelings children may have, such as fear, anger, sadness, guilt, and loneliness are covered and that these feelings are normal. The problem of children believing they can get their parents back together again is mentioned and it is made clear that this is fantasy and very unlikely to happen. Custody is explained, as well as the many different permutations of where children may live and the complications that arise from having to move about. We learn that some parents try to make their children take sides, and it is suggested that being firm with parents on this issue is a good idea. We also learn about new friends or partners in parents' lives and the complications this can cause. There are suggestions as to how to get along with stepfamilies, including new siblings. Friends can be a great support, as can parents and therapists when necessary. Above all, one must remember that the divorce is not his or her fault. There is lots of sensitivity in this book, lots about feelings, and it will be useful at home as well as in schools. The glossary, a list of other books and websites, and an index are welcome additions.
Age: 10+
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