HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Always Mom, Forever Dad: A Story of Divided Households
Author: Joanna Rowland
Illustrator: Penny Weber
Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers, 2014
Related website: http://www.tilburyhouse.com (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 6-12
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Rowland, Joanna. Always Mom, Forever Dad: A Story of Divided Households (published in 2014 Tilbury House Publishers, 12 Starr St., Thomaston, ME 04861). This book begins with a rather frightened looking child who says, “When Mom and Dad moved apart, I was scared about what would change. They helped me see that even though things were different, one thing would never change. My mom and dad would always love me. And I know it’s true.” The book then goes on to discuss the various activities which different children do when they are with their fathers and when they are with their mothers. It concludes with the same child at the opening, now smiling, who says, “At my dad’s house and at my mom’s house, I am loved. And when I ask them how long they’ll love me, they both reply always and forever. And I know it’s true.” Obviously, this book is designed to help alleviate some of the confusion and distress which children experience as the result of a divorce occurring with their parents and reassure them of their parents’ love.
I am giving this book a five star rating because it does an excellent job of accomplishing its well-intended purpose. However, I must make a couple of observations. Certainly, I fully realize that divorce situations do occur—that’s life. Certainly, the children involved in those situations, who are the true victims of divorce, are innocent and bear no responsibility. Certainly, everything should be done to help, encourage, and support such children. And, certainly, books like this can serve a useful function in providing them aid. However, the very fact that a book like Always Mom, Forever Dad is deemed necessary is in and of itself an unspeakable tragedy. As a minister, I have known and counseled many children of divorce, and what they universally tell me is that parents can try to make a divorce as friendly, as easy, as worry-free as possible, but it still hurts with an underlying pain that never really goes away. If a book like this one can assist in easing even a little of that pain, then it is worthwhile.