cover image Divorce Is the Worst

Divorce Is the Worst

Anastasia Higginbotham. Feminist, $16.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-55861-880-0

First in the Ordinary Terrible Things series, Higginbotham’s debut children’s book offers a frank look at the painful, confused emotions that are often a part of divorce. Set on the brown paper of bagged school lunches, the collaged artwork incorporates fabric scraps, torn photographs, and hand-lettered text as (largely unseen) parents tell their child that they are divorcing. “It can come as a surprise. When it does, it’s the worst,” writes Higginbotham as the child (whose gender is kept neutral) gasps. Higginbotham draws the child’s features in ink, and readers follow a chain of emotions that includes shock, anger, sadness, and (short-lived) hope. “You’re getting me a horse?” the child asks. “Um no,” comes the response. “A divorce.” The illustrations deliver a substantial emotional impact—a series of pages shows the child doing household chores while “reasons” like “We fell out of love” and “We’ve changed” appear on dirty dishes and thick gray carpeting. But it’s Higginbotham’s directness and refusal to talk down to her audience that will make this book such an asset to families negotiating divorce. Ages 4–8. [em](Apr.) [/em]