When Parents Divorce or Separate
A Catholic Guide for Kids
By Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski
Pauline Books & Media
Boston, Massachusetts, 2015
Reviewed by Laura Harting
This guide for Catholic kids is jam-packed full of information. It is 241 pages long and covers everything that has to do with divorce, from the moment a child is told about the breakup to when the parents remarry and form a stepfamily. The author gives practical and helpful information about feelings, problems with parents, and understanding divorce from the perspective of the Catholic Church. The solution-focused emphasis gives kids ideas for how to handle difficult situations.
I like how each chapter begins with a short story about a child whose parents are divorced and the problems that child encounters. After the story there are questions to answer and solutions to that particular child’s dilemmas. I also like the inclusion of God and prayer in this book.
This book would be a great tool for a small group. I can easily see how an adult group leader could read a chapter at each group session and focus the group discussion around that topic. The questions could also be used to stimulate conversation and encourage kids to share what they think about the solutions presented at the end of the chapter and then discuss some of their own solutions.
The publisher states the book is designed for children ages 8 to 12, which would be grades 3 through 6. However, I believe this book seems geared towards the middle school aged child, ages 11 to 13, and I think it would be too long for a child to read alone. If it is not being used in a small group setting, I recommend that it be read with an adult, taking one chapter at a time.
This book has a specific niche within the category of books for children of divorce. It would be perfect for the Catholic middle schooler whose parents are divorcing and who is either attending a small group with other kids whose parents are divorced or is reading this book a chapter at a time with a parent, relative, counselor, or priest.
Laura Harting, LCSW, sees young clients are her office in Paoli, Pennsylvania.