The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce

A Classic Book About Divorce Written for Children


  • Feelings children have after the divorce
  • The fear of being left alone
  • Getting along better with divorced parents
  • Dealing with parentsí dating
  • Getting along with stepparents
  • Shame at parentsí behavior

The first book in which the problems of divorce were presented in expository form to children, The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce was critically acclaimed nationwide. Time magazine devoted almost a full page to it and The New York Times Sunday Magazine reprinted its introductory chapters verbatim as a feature article.

Although children are generally much more attracted to fictionalized stories, Dr. Gardner realized they would only be relevant to a small percentage of the target population in that whatever the situations depicted in them, they could only be similar to the experiences of a small fraction of all children who read them. A more direct, expository approach ran the risk of being boring to children, but it had the clear advantage of enabling the author to present the wide variety of problems that children of divorce commonly encounter. It is a testament to the author that he was so successful in his presentation that the majority of child readers become strongly involved with the book in spite of its expository form. The authorís exquisite sensitivity to the problems that these children face ensured that he would touch upon the most important issues that concerned these children.

The wide variety of common problems that children of divorce face are dealt with in a direct fashion, at a level readily understandable to the average six-to-seven year old. Included among these are anger problems, blame, guilt, parental love (and its absence), and abandonment fears. Specific chapters advise the child on how to get along better with a divorced father, a divorced mother, a stepfather, and a stepmother. The advice is practical and realistic throughout. Although the author attempts to help children succeed, he also advises them on how to deal with failures. Warm and sensitive illustrations by Al Lowenheim complement the text and enhance the childís interest and involvement.

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