Yes folks it's time for We Recommend, in which you write in asking for specific recommendations, and we use our collective knowledge to come up with the perfect book. Interested? Write in and tell us your kid's age, tastes, other stuff—anything that might be relevant—and we'll do our part. Oh yeah, and the comments? The comments are the best part.
Here's the thing: life, children, and love—they all entail pain. There's just no escaping it. And some of the pain is good, like when your small sweet people become large independent people, and leave you to forge their way in the world. It's wonderful, and it's painful. And some of the pain is terrible and to no good end. And some of it you just don't know where it's going to end for you, you only have to keep going with it. Here's what we have:
Just found out from husband of 10 years that he’s leaving and it’s for someone else. Total shocker. So the kids are a boy 8 (huge harry potter, 39 clues, rick riordan reader) and a girl 6—just learning to read. loves tumtum and nutmeg series read to her, Nancy drew, Magic pony books. Any recs for books about divorce or with families who experience it and don’t perish?
First, let us all wish you a quick and speedy recovery from this heart- and family-ache.
And second…sheesh. It's not easy, but then you already know that. I would like to start with the boy, and it's frustrating because so many excellent books in which the family is divorced seem to be about girls and their feelings (Abby Hayes comes to mind). In general what I think makes sense is to read something comforting—anything comforting, whether it's Harry Pottor or the 39 Clues. But I get the whole idea of trying to find some reference to non-perishing.
I was really hoping for some Louis Sachar, or some Jerry Spinelli, but I can't remember specifically divorced families there (though maybe Loser has one—but that's not really the way to go, is it?). And I want it to be a boy main character, because it just seems like it would help, somehow. It's funny to realize just how many of the kids in books have two parents, a man and a woman, and how less common that is among the parents of my children's friends.
So I looked and I thought and I searched around, and this is what I found:
Major caveat: I HAVE NOT READ THIS BOOK.
It's Beverly Cleary, for Pete's sake. Her work is awesome. Says various websites: it's the story of a boy, who lives alone with his mother, who writes to his favorite author. Key point: his parents are divorced. It was hard. He does OK. I wish it was more fantasy related, as that is what this boy clearly loves. So please, anyone who knows more, speak up!
For the girl—well, she's only 6, after all. Six is very, very small. It might make sense to have something as simple as Dinosaurs Divorce, which everyone seems to love. But my favorite book about being a kid with divorced parents was written by my friend's (divorced) mom was Lucky Wilma:
It tells the story of a girl's day with her dad—a Saturday, which is the one day per week she sees him—and how they just hang around and have fun instead of doing what they usually do, which is something very structured. It's very 1970s, but very comforting, if also honestly acknowledging the sadness. It ends with him walking her home to her mom, "And then he went home to his house."
And for the mom—yes I know she didn't ask for one, but it's just such a hard situation and we heard of a good book and, well, here it is:
Because, of course, the person who really worries whether the family will perish is the parent. A very smart divorced dad told me about this author and this book. Its message is key: kids are strong. Life is hard. No one thinks getting divorced is what you want, but you can and will survive it, and so will your kids.
We here are rooting for you.
But please, everyone, there must be more books, especially for the boy! Give us your wisdom in the comments.