Monday, May 7, 2012

Moon Pie by Simon Mason

Martha and Tug's dad has been acting "strange" ever since their mom died.  He used to be a calm, reliable presence in their lives but recently he has been climbing onto the roof and falling off, staying out late, giggling and acting silly, and planning picnics at 2:30 in the morning.  With dad acting so strange, it's up to Martha to take charge around the house and take care of Tug.  Her friends Laura and Marcus let Martha know that her father is an alcoholic.  After reading some books about alcoholism Martha knows that things will only get worse without help but she's unsure of how to help her father.  Her opportunity is taken away from her when her father crashes the car and Tug and Martha are sent to live with their strict grandparents.  This book is an extremely realistic portrayal of living with an alcoholic parent - uncomfortably so at times.  Martha completely fills the role of the super-responsible caretaker, being sucked in a little at a time as her father makes promises he is unable to keep.  While I am happy that eventually things work out for the family, I am completely annoyed by the way in which everything turns around unrealistically.  The cover, as well, is ridiculous given the content of the book and makes me wonder if the illustrator (or publisher) even read the story.