Reading Level: Grades 3 - 4
Children often feel responsible when their parents separate.
They believe there is something they can do to keep the marriage together. Wise Bird tells
BJ's story about her parents' divorce and helps BJ understand that divorce is a grown-up problem.
He also describes some of the changes that can occur, and gives advice such as sharing feelings with
someone who will understand.
Let's Talk makes it clear that the child is not at fault and
encourages open communication of feelings, including guilt and anger. Specific coping suggestions
and exercises are provided for common problems encountered in divorce.
First I am retelling the story in my own words:
We all have a mother or father or other people who take care of us.
It would be nice if your family could always live happily together, but it
is not always possible.
People can often change as they grow older. Sometimes married people
stop loving each other. They may get angry and argue with each other.
Parents often say bad things when they are mad.
It hurts kids when their parents argue with each other. Sometimes
you may feel like you want to run away or you may try hiding somewhere in
your room. Running and hiding don't work. Our problems still are there
When our parents are angry often they divorce. The best thing to do is to
live apart from each other because they can no longer live with each other
This is the best way for the kid to stop feeling hurt. But a lot of
the hurt is still inside. Sometimes youll never actually feel the same.
But find something to do: read books, do activities, play games, play with
toys. This may take your mind off it sometimes. Try to make the best of
things the way they are. And Im sure your parents will let you visit
your mother or father. Some children feel it;s their fault but its
really not. The end.
You know why I think this is a good book? Because it makes you feel
good. I think you should try finding another book like it. You can go to
the Ann Arbor Public Library or another library and I'm sure theyll have
tons and tons like them. When I read a few books, they made me better and
I didn't hurt as much, but I still feel sorry for my dad. I hope you feel
better. Remember, the pain can still hurt you even if you feel good.
Remember what I said: read books, do games, do other things. Have a hobby.
-- Reviewed by Elizabeth L.B. Lynn, age 9
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