The Blurb On The Back:
You might want to read this book because your parents are splitting up. Or maybe you know someone whose parents are separating and you want to help them.
This book contains practical, straightforward information and advice to help you to understand why families break-up and what you can do to get through this stressful time.
THE KIDS’ GUIDE: DEALING WITH DIVORCE was released in the United Kingdom on 22nd September 2022. Thanks to the Amazon Vine Programme for the review copy of this book.
The Review (Cut For Spoilers):
Tim Collins is an award-winning children’s author of both fiction and non-fiction. This sensitive book (part of a series) guides readers aged 9+ through what happens when their parents split up and their emotional response to the same and Scott Garrett’s illustrations complement the text well. However although there is good advice here I wanted some recognition of when a divorce is happening due to abuse due to the challenges it throws up.
A lot of thought has gone into this book and it is very much centred on reassuring readers that if their parents split up then (a) it is not the fault of the readers and (b) there is nothing they can do to get their parents back together again. I think that this is very sensible as these tend to be 2 of the first questions that young people have in a divorce so putting it front and centre is both reassuring but also encourages the reader to face what is going on. Equally, I appreciated the emphasis on talking about your feelings and how it addresses the fact that your emotional response in this situation can be very complicated – all of which is well illustrated both literally by Garrett who reinforces emotional response through facial expressions and by the fictional examples that Collins creates.
The final third of the book looks at what happens when your parents move on and how to deal with the complexities of new living arrangements and if your parents find new partners who perhaps have children of their own. Again, I liked the way that Collins acknowledges the complex emotions that this throws up and offers practical steps for managing the same.
My only criticism of the book is that while it does acknowledge that divorces and relationship splits can cause adults to become angry at each other and maybe put the child in the middle, the book’s underlying assumption seems to be that the break up is mutual or accepted and proceeding in a reasonably mature way. I did want more of an acknowledgement that some splits may occur because the underlying relationship is toxic or even abusive and that as a result, the split itself may amplify that. It may also mean that at the end of the relationship the child is not able to continue having contact (or must have supervised contact) with one parent. Obviously, a book of this type cannot cover absolutely everything that might crop up on a divorce but I did think that this was a point that deserved to be touched on if nothing else.
This said, I did think that this was a useful book that young readers who are experiencing a parental split would benefit from reading and on that basis I think it is worth a look.