Although there are many children's books about divorce, few move beyond bland therapeutic preaching into the realm of well-told stories. This one does. A hard look at joint-custody life, The Suitcase Kid
follows Andrea West and her tiny stuffed rabbit, Radish, through the painful adjustment of being a kid with divorced parents. She must leave the home she loves with the mulberry tree in the front yard, and deal with parents who still fight, step parents, step siblings, two different bedrooms (neither of which is really hers), loneliness, and an acute longing for the past. Her grades sink. Her friends drift away. And she's not quite sure how to fix any of it.
Wisely, Jacqueline Wilson doesn't offer instant solutions; rather, she chronicles Andy's journey to the beginning of equilibrium in her new life. Things will never be the way they were, but, as the book suggests, they'll get better over time. And because it's well written and honest, The Suitcase Kid will appeal to any child who enjoys realistic fiction, not just those who "need" to read a book about divorce. (The publisher recommends the The Suitcase Kid for ages 8-12, but it could easily serve kids who are a couple of years younger or older.)
'A deeply moving account of a child's agony and bewilderment as she suffers from her parents' divorce. Feelings tumble out in a cascade of experiences, at once painful and funny. Language is racy and modern, superbly capturing the experience of many children today' Junior Education
NOMINATED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL
"'Anguish and humour combine to create a powerful story describing Andrea's feelings when her parents divorce. The alphabetically arranged chapters are self-contained yet link to portray an emotional journey through bewilderment and jealousy. This is an unsentimental story, skilfully combining realism with humour' Junior Education"
"'A very sensitive account of what could very well happen in a similar family situation' The Junior Bookshelf"
"'There's a bittersweet symmetry in [Andy's] defiant, touchingly manipulative and funny account of how she comes to terms with it all. Charming stylised illustrations by Nick Sharratt' The Guardian"
"'Gripping, funny and sensitively written' The Independent on Sunday"