Saturday, February 16, 2013

Children of Alcoholics Week

February 10-16 is Children of Alcoholics Week. Before I get to the book list, if you are the child of an alcoholic, I urge you to contact Alateen, a support group for teens who are affected by someone else's drinking.

Today's books all feature an alcoholic parent. In some books, it's the majority of the plot, in others, it's not, but it's there in all of them.


Trinkets by Kirsten Smith. Three very different high school classmates form an unlikely friendship when they meet in their Shoplifter's Anonymous class. It's told in three distinct voices and explores the issues that drive each girl to steal, without being too heavy or dark. This one will be out next month, so keep an eye out for it.

Wake by Lisa McMann. Janie's always careful to not sleep near any other sleeping person. When she does, she'll fall into their dreams and she's seen enough, especially when she falls into a classmate's disturbing nightmare. But what if she can use this curse for good? The first in a trilogy, the next book is Fade.

A Room on Lorelei Street by Mary E. Pearson. Zoe is cracking under the stress and pressure from taking care of her alcoholic mother, so she rents a room and moves out. But can her part-time job after school cover the rent and give her the breathing space she needs?


Border Crossing by Jessica Lee Anderson. When Manz hears about Operation Wetback, an extreme deportation program in the 1950s, he's convinced the government is starting it up again. The voices telling him so keep getting louder and louder, but Manz doesn't realize only he can hear them.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen. When Cora went to college she left and never looked back, leaving Ruby to deal with their alcoholic mother by herself. When her mother leaves, Ruby moves in with Cora, leaving the trailer to go to Cora's McMansion.

Burned by Ellen Hopkins. In this verse novel, Pattyn is the oldest child in a stern religious household. After her father catches her with a boy, he sends her away to live with her aunt in Nevada, but that's where she gets a glimpse of what life can be.


Absolutely Maybe by Lisa Yee. Maybe finally runs away from her washed-up beauty queen mother, to join friends in LA and search for the biological father she never knew.

Dirty Liar by Brian James. To escape his mother's abusive boyfriend, Benji moves in with his father and step-mother, but his father is distant and the past isn't that easy to run from.

Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes. In this Printz-honor title, Karl is determined to be normal. Forced into school-based group therapy since 4th grade, he's going to get out. But can he ditch therapy without ditching his friends, who are all still a part of it?

What this list really lacks are nonfiction books aimed at children whose parents have an addiction problem. I had a hard time finding any recent titles. Do you know of any?

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