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Book Reviews

Childrens Books

Divorce Book Reviews by Nancy Johnson-Gallagher. LICSW, Mediator

Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide for Changing Families

by Laura Krasny Brown and Marc Brown (1986)

A classic, this book has been helping families adjust to divorce since 1986. It addresses just about every issue that can occur during divorce including verbal violence and substance abuse, and offers empowering strategies for the child. It gives permission for the child to “not listen” to a parent’s berating of the other, or even to ask a parent not to say bad things about the other parent. Despite the very young art, this book is comfortable reading for the two year old to the eight year old.

It’s Not Your Fault, Koko Bear: A Read Together Book For Parents and Young Children During Divorce

by Vick Lansky: author of Divorce Book for Parents (1998)

This book has been a standard in the field for parents and counselors alike for years. Children whose parents are divorcing have their world shaken, and their parents abilities to parent are often shaken concurrently. The beauty of this book is that each issue is addressed for the child and there is complementary commentary on each page for the parents on how best to address their children’s feelings of loss, anger, self-blame and fear. Dependent upon the child’s maturity this book is best used for the child between the ages of two or three, to seven or eight.

Parents Books

Mom’s House, Dad’s House: Making Two
Homes for Your Child

by Isolina Ricci, PhD, 1980, 1997

A classic, this book has been helping parents transition to co-parenting in separate homes for 30 years, and is still the “go to” book on the issues. The real strength of this book is that it helps the adults to understand where they are in the process of divorce (and developmentally) and how that impacts their children. It gives great specifics on how to communicate better, identifying styles of conflict in divorcing couples, and setting up “two homes” for your children.

Helping Your Kids Cope with Divorce, The Sandcastles Way,

by Gary Neuman, LMHC, 1998,

A Great guide for helping children adjust. The book is based on the “The Sandcastles Way Divorce Therapy Program” which has been implemented in many family courts. This book is a great reference book that focuses in deeply on the children’s experience with a lot of case presentation to normalize even the most complicated cases.

Book Review Written by Joe Anne Adler

Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life by Sam Marguilies, Ph.D., J.D. is published by Fireside Books. It is available at most bookstores and at any of the Rhode Island Public Libraries.

Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life, written by Sam Marguilies is an excellent primer for people just beginning the divorce process. It provides readers with a foundation of knowledge they can use throughout the divorce process. The book provides a realistic yet concise outline of the options a couple have when considering divorce and shows how both the mediation process and the conventional legal process can be used to negotiate a divorce settlement that is tailored to the couples needs.

The author, a practicing attorney and mediator, has divided the book into two parts. The first half, entitled Getting Ready, informs, equips and empowers the reader to negotiate. In this section, Marguilies explains the divorce laws and their implications, addresses the emotional crisis experienced in divorce and lays out the economic considerations that have to be made in addition to addressing the purpose, intent and options that need to be considered in deciding custody, visitation, child support, alimony, and property distribution.

The second half, entitled Negotiating Your Agreement, provides information and ideas on negotiating all aspects of a divorce settlement. The author uses both real life case studies and his substantial experience in the legal field to provide a well written book that walks the reader through the emotional, legal and economic realities of divorce and provides them with expert information about ways that the mediation and legal process can be used to construct a viable and satisfactory divorce settlement.