Couloumbis, Audrey. 2011. LEXIE. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780375856327 [Suggested Grade Levels 3-6]
Ten year-old Lexie sets off for the family’s cherished beach house for a week with her father, even though her parents’ recent divorce creates an unsettling feeling about this time together. The appearance of Vicky, her father’s new girlfriend, and her two sons only compounds Lexie’s confusion. With each new change in a beloved routine, Lexie reflects on her disappointment and resentment and then quietly navigates these new waters, sharing beach house traditions with the boys and exploring what it means to be part of a new family.
At most times appearing to be more mature than the adults in the story, Lexie narrates her story in a gentle, wistful, but straightforward voice. The book explores divorce, new relationships, and fitting in with candor and sensitivity through the voice of a protagonist who both observes and reaches out. Middle grade readers touched by the challenge of divorce and blended families may find a champion in Lexie.
Ask readers to write a narrative about a change that impacted their lives. How did they react to the change? Give the readers a chance to illustrate their narratives, if they wish. Then offer the opportunity to share their narratives in a small group.
Other realistic fiction about children dealing with divorce include:
Cleary, Beverly. DEAR MR. HENSHAW. ISBN 978068802406-2
Danziger, Paula. I, AMBER BROWN. ISBN 978039923180-3
Jackson, Alison. EGGS OVER EVIE. ISBN 9780805082944
By Susi Parks Grissom