It's not the end of the world ISBN: 9780330398107
Blume, Judy
Published by Pan
Karen is 12, the middle child between Jeff, 14, and Amy, 6. THeir parents fight constantly, and early on in the story it is apparent that divorce is inevitable. Karen refuses to accept this and keeps making excuses, sure that everything will be sorted out. The children react differently, but each is affected. Jeff becomes morose and difficult, and finally runs away. Amy, who is a bit of a madam, tries to play her parents against each other and insists on sleeping with Karen because she thinks the rest of the family may leave like their dad did. While the parents try to be fair to each other around the children, the awful fights they have, particularly when Jeff disappears, are frighteningly real. Karen finally must accept that they are not going to make up and live happily ever after. Her best friend, Debbie, is her support, but her new friend, Val, is the child of divorce and has been through it all. Extremely good on all Karen's internal emotions and questions, many of which never get answered. Their mother must do lots of growing up in a short time, and it is by no means clear at the end of the book what will happen. They may be moving, and further adjustments are sure to come. But the children have begun to accept. Not a happy read, but an honest one.
Age: 11+