Families with Challenges, Families with Problems

by Nancy Bo Flood on November 13, 2010

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Books celebrate family and they also help us understand.  No family is free from problems.  Some families are torn apart because of them.

For the older reader, STAR IN THE FOREST by Laura Resau is a contemporary novel that catches your heart in the first chapter. One day Papa is pulled over for speeding.  Mama cries again and again to family, to friends,  Deportado!  Deportado!    Papa is deported to Mexico.  His daughter, his little star, Zitlally, Estrella, a descendant from the Aztecs, first withdraws, but then discovers a secret source of strength in the “forest.”

Laura Resau has created a poignant story about the strength of children and their families to survive.

ONE SQUARE INCH by Claudia Mills shows, with hope and humor, how children cope when something is very wrong with a parent.  Carly and Cooper are frustrated when their mother’s sadness means she spends more time sleeping than being with them.  But then they are frightened by her sudden change to maniacal energy.

What does it mean, bipolar disorder?  Can an imaginary land, Inchland, offer a pretend place of safety?  This book offers a window into a home where children learn that things are not always “okay.”

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