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By Sally Nichollsauthor of Ways to Live Forever

Sally Nicholls takes a look at some of the best books to deal with death, divorce and other difficult issues

My Big Strange Happy Family

My Big (Strange) Happy Family! by Karen McCombie and Lydia Monks (Walker Books, ISBN 9781406300789)

This book is part of a larger series and is aimed at slightly older children, but don’t be put off – it works perfectly well as a stand-alone title. Ten-year-old Indie loves her Mum and her Dad. She knows her parents don’t love each other anymore, but can her big, complicated family hang together if the two most important members of it don’t even like each other?

This probably isn’t the best book to share with a child whose parents are newly divorced – Indie’s parents separated when she was very small and her situation is relatively stable. What it does do, however, is explore the complexities of growing up with divided parents and celebrates the fact that messy, unconventional families are often very happy ones. Indie’s family lives in two different houses and includes giant snails, didgeridoo-playing lodgers and deely-bopping stepbrothers. But it works, and that’s the most important thing of all.

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