When it comes to books about a parent leaving, there is no pitch-perfect picks for children and youth.
Well, there is nothing perfect about a subject of divorce and giving your child/student a book that shows a happy crocodile on it, will only result in irritation. Also, many books that deal with parent loss and divorce are books written for girls. Girls read more books that deal with emotions, which it makes it imperative to provide boys with books that will help them get through personal and family struggle of adjusting to a new life without one of the parents. Since boys are less willing to discuss their emotions than girls, reading a book that relates to their daily life serves as a form of therapy (also referred to as bibliotherapy).
Recently, I reviewed two engaging and greatly written books about divorce in which the main characters were boys. In “The Day My Mother Left” a 10 year old boy Jeremy is dealing with his mothers’ sudden abandonment that lasted for more than three years. Jeremy is faced with coping not only with his own feelings of loss, anger, and grief; but is left with a father, who is too devastated and depressed to even address Jeremy’s basic needs. In effort to deal with his new reality, Jeremy immerses himself into his drawings. The author,James Prosek created an almost too real narrative about a boy who at the very fragile stage in his life is left with unanswered questions and feelings of unexplainable loss, yet he perseveres.
Interest Level: 9 & Up
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Subject: Family, Divorce, Feelings and Emotions, Adolescence, Friendships.