Children's Literature - Phyllis KennemerThis book contains two sections. The first part is the story about how frightened Sam is concerning her mother's alcoholism. Her dad is a long distance truck driver, so he is out of town a lot. Sam never knows what to expect when she comes home from school because her mother is often drunk and unresponsive. The mom decides on her own to get help after she starts a fire in the home. The story is contrived; the text is dense; and the illustrations are unattractive. Unfortunately, many young people who pick this book up will likely put it down without getting to the second part. The second section presents factual information in a totally different format. Topics include a definition of alcoholism, feelings associated with the problem, and possible actions kids can take. Full color photographs and inserts with definitions of unfamiliar words aid in understanding. Teachers, parents, and other adults who work with children can skip the story and use the factual pages as an aid in discussing ways of dealing with an alcoholic parent. This book in the "Kids Have Troubles Too" series includes an introduction, questions to think about, a bibliography, and an index. Reviewer: Phyllis Kennemer, Ph.D.
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