Most helpful critical review
75 of 103 people found the following review helpful
This book is dangerous!
on July 12, 2002
(0 star review)
Happened across this book in the library, and I thought I'd put in a few words against it, since it's doubtless highly recommended among books to help kids "cope" with alcoholism in the family; that is, if your idea of teaching children to cope is training them to accept their fate, bury it in euphemism, and move on from one depressing day of abuse to another in the shadow of what this book seeks to excuse as a sickness.
The father in this book is typically horrendous, lying and near-abusing his daughter, yet the non-alcoholic mother insists on keeping her child in this situation, breaking down in tears rather than offering a beacon of safety in what must be the poor child's hopeless world.
True, this book is realistic. Yet I cannot imagine any parent or counsellor offering it to a child, since it doesn't offer any real advice besides
a) alcoholism is something to be ashamed of (the girl says she used to not have anyone she could talk to about her father, but now her mother has one friend she CAN confide in)
b) feel free to get out for an evening of fun before returning to the same bad situation.
Yuck, yuck and double-yuck. I'm all for building a body of fiction to help kids cope with issues, but this is a nasty addition to the bunch and could destroy more than a few already-fragile kids...
POSTSCRIPT, added June 16, 2010:
As adults, it's OUR job to protect kids. You wouldn't buy a book called "Pedophilia: my uncle has a disease and he can't help molesting me." Or would you?
If you're thinking of giving a child a book that encourages her to excuse a parent's inexcusable behaviour, please: skip the "understanding" literature and get the child out of the situation if you can.