Back in December, 2009, Liz Burns, a librarian and blogger (most recently, for School Library Journal), asked on her blog for suggestions of children’s and young adult books where an alcoholic (including recovering alcoholics) is portrayed as something other than an evil, abusive person. I actually wrote about it here on Drinking Diaries, but as an addendum to another post, and I felt it should get its own post.
Burns cited two books: The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron (being in the program and recovery is a fact of life) and Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr (alcoholic parent as flawed, needing help, but not portrayed as evil or abusive).
Some other books that made the list:
Blessing’s Bead by Debby Dahl Edwardson
Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Saenz
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Tempo Change by Barbara Hull
Up a Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
Rules of the Road by Joan Bauer
Best Foot Forward by Joan Bauer
Lush by Natasha Friend
Crash into Me by Albert Borris
Thanksgiving at the Inn by Tim Whitney
How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
I would also add Elizabeth Scott’s portrayal of a teenage alcoholic to the list, in her book, Love You, Hate You, Miss You. And one of my own favorites when I was a teen, called The Late Great Me by Sandra Scoppetone. Also–The Spectacular Now, by Tim Tharp. Oh yeah, and a memoir by Susan Juby called Nice Recovery.
Anyone else have any books to add to the mix? Children’s? Teens? Adult books welcome, too. As far as adult books, I’ve mentioned how much I love Anne Lamott’s Rosie. Just read a great review of Lily King’s latest novel, Father of the Rain, which portrays an alcoholic father.