Sunday, March 4, 2012

Moon Pie by Simon Mason

Martha has been taking care of the house and her little brother since her mother died.  She's also going to school and doing laundry and cooking meals.  But she just can't stretch far enough to take care of her Dad, too...

David Fickling Books sent me a copy of this book for review (thank you).  It has been published so you can pick a copy at your local bookstore now.

It takes Martha a bit to figure it out but she discovers the reason her father is acting so strange is because he's drunk.  He scares her because he gets loud, he sings, takes them on midnight picnics and is generally unreliable.  This is not how her father used to act.  When her mother died, it seems to have thrown him off balance. Martha is only 11 and this isn't something she's able to deal with alone.  She doesn't want help, but her grandparents can see what's happening and they intervene.

This is a sad story because it's all too true.  Not all parents are wonderful loving people.  And even if they are, circumstances like death can definitely change them.  The story offers hope, though.  Her father is going through counseling and has quite drinking and they may be reunited as a family once again.  They will have to work on trust and responsibilities, but it can be done.

This book would be good for a reading group that could have general discussion after reading.  I can see questions like:  Did Martha do enough?  Shouldn't her father have realized he had  a problem?  Should her grandparents have done what they did?  And more.  It's not the most pleasant subject, but life is real and some children have to deal with problems like this.  Mr. Mason explains the process and talks about the results.  That's good info for children.

Happy reading.

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