A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
A good exercise in developing emotional intelligence, this book gives insight into what living in two homes looks like. It can definitely serve to educate and support kids whose parents are going through divorce -- or their friends who are curious. Max's feelings are not always clear, and his dad's feelings are also muddled. But in this book it's perfectly all right to be confused. Max has to learn how to feel safe about discussing his feelings with his dad. His dad learns to admit that he's human. The beauty of this book lies in the fact that the characters are teaching by doing.
There's life after divorce. Even when your parents split up, they still love you and you'll always have a home. Be resourceful when you hit a challenge. Conquering challenges can add to your self-esteem and sense of belonging. There are upsides to having two homes. It's all right to have feelings about your parent's new apartment -- and the divorce.
Positive Role Models
Not only is Max's dad a lovable guy who just wants the best for his son, but also the community in the neighborhood is supportive. Ace, the wise yet silly owner of the local diner, sings and plays music with Max and his dad. When Max needs help with a school project and his dad is down wih a cold, he turns to the upstairs neighbor, Ms. Tibbet, for aid. She teaches Max and his friend Warren about being resourceful and asking for help. Max's father is patient and available for him in ways he hadn't expected. When Max finally confides in his dad that he doesn't like the decor of his new bedroom, his dad says, "That is important information ... I'm glad you told me."
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Linda Urban's Weekends with Max and His Dad shows what happens to a kid after his dad moves into his own apartment. Max, age 9, and his father, Leo, are getting accustomed to a new living situation by playing games and being very human. Yes, they both have big feelings, but the easy rapport between father and son provides a vehicle for gentle insights about what it means to be a kid living in two homes. A great book to help parents and kids discuss divorce.
Is It Any Good?
This expertly written story shows that life after divorce has bumps, but it can be all right. WEEKENDS WITH MAX AND HIS DAD is not a gritty, in-your-face tale of loss. There's a sense of loss, and Max displays anxiety, but these characteristics are integrated, not spotlighted. For example, at times Max feels like "somebody is sitting on his chest." Sometimes he needs to run around -- a lot. On the day his dad moved out, Max was sent to his friend Warren's house, kept busy with movies and ice cream -- "too busy to think about what was going on in his house."
Weekends with Max and His Dad provides a perfect opportunity for parents and kids to discuss divorce. The message is couched in the action. Max and his dad do stuff. Imbued in the stuff they do is the fact that life has changed forever -- but that they can make it through without losing themselves. With subtlety, it promotes a positive, natural dialogue about a very big life event.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.