Rescuing dad ISBN: 9780440864578
Published by Corgi Yearling, 2001
Pete Johnson understands how kids 'work'. These two, Joe and Claire, are appalled when their parents announce they are separating because they need some space away from each other. Told in the first person by Joe, the emotional stress on all sides rings very true, and this in spite of the real humour of the story. Some of Joe and Claire's ways and means of getting their parents back together again are whacky beyond belief. But the fact that they sometimes handle the situation in more mature ways than their parents shows real understanding of the emotions children feel at family break-up. The children suspect that both parents may be seeing new possible partners, but this turns out not to be the case. Dad has lost his job, and as a result, is letting himself go, so Joe moves in with him and diplomatically puts him to rights. Claire's final explosion, when she explains their feelings in no uncertain terms, becomes a catalyst for the parents to realise their mistakes. The ending is not the happy one the children hoped for, but their parents are talking again and taking more adult responsibilities. A good read.