June 2011

Dealing with divorce

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At the beginning of this story, almost-11-year-old Lexie’s mom tells her, “A big part of growing up is dealing with things we don’t like.” What she doesn’t tell her is how to deal with those things. This is something Lexie must discover for herself while on vacation with her father at the family beach house.

Lexie’s parents divorced about a year earlier, and as much as she dislikes going to the beach without her mom, she is looking forward to some time alone with her father. It isn’t until they arrive, however, that her dad tells her that his girlfriend is coming as well. And just when Lexie thinks she can get past this new thing that she doesn’t like, she finds that the girlfriend has brought her sons, Harris and Ben, too.

The reader can feel the tension mount as everyone tries to make a “nice vacation” and no one talks about the changes in their families. There are glimpses of Lexie learning how to make decisions for herself, especially when she realizes “that somebody had to stand up for me and I guess it had to be me.” But she says nothing until young Harris lets it slip that her father and his mother are planning to get married. We are as relieved as Lexie when she finally confronts her father and clears the air.

Lexie is a sweet, short story that will appeal particularly to young girls. Newbery Honor-winning author Audrey Couloumbis very deftly shows us the growth of her character in the passing of just a few days. Yes, growing up is dealing with things we don’t like, and Lexie will show you how to do it.

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Random House Children's
ISBN 9780375856327

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