Safe at Home!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This thoughtful, moving narrative concerns a boy's struggle to confront his mother's alcoholism. Ever since sixth-grader Tony's father left, matters at home have been in turmoil. Mom was sometimes ``sick'' before Dad's departure, but now she is constantly ill. Tony's four-year-old sister Christy lives in a world of imaginary friends, and the boy feels responsible for the entire household. The only time he can be truly relaxed and secure is on the ball field, where he blazes baseballs across the plate. Unfortunately, Tony cannot hide from his problems forever, and neither can his mother. Anderson delineates her hero's internal struggles sensitively and realistically; his experiences reflect the fear, anger and confusion that children of alcoholics face on a daily basis. While she offers hope and reassurance with the return of Tony's father, she is careful not to promise any quick, easy resolutions to this complicated and painful situation. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7-- Tony lives in a family strongly into denial. His mother calls her alcoholism ``the flu,'' while his father is ``away on business,'' unable to cope at home. Even his preschool sister, Christy, deals with her mother's neglect by inventing imaginary friends. Tony is confused by the events at home and finds release from his troubles on the baseball diamond where he is a star pitcher. His inability to come to grips with his family's troubles is well portrayed, as is the escape that he finds in the total concentration required by baseball. The novel ends with the return of the father and Tony's understanding of the extent of his mother's problems. Realistically, there are no simple solutions here; the mother has not admitted her addiction and refuses to seek help. Somewhat incredibly, Tony fairly quickly forgives his father and finds his anxieties lessening in a world in which he is ``safe at home.'' There's a particularly overdone speech by Christy about fantasy worlds and the need to face reality. Overall, however, this is an effective portrait of a boy's difficulty in the face of a desperate situation. --Todd Morning, Schaumburg Township Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689718335
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 2/7/1995
  • Edition description: 1st Aladdin Books ed
  • Pages: 128

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    Great book

    As a teacher this book really represents the fact that you never know whats going on at home. This is a great book to have in a library because it really represents how alcohol affects the entire family, mostly the older kids in the family. I loved this book and the ending is great because it isn't a fairy tale ending, its about a family working together to get through tough issues. Every teacher and student should read it- sadly I think many kids can relate to Tony.

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