Weekends with Max and His Dad by Linda Urban, illustrated by Katie Kath

Published by HMH Books for Young Readers

Summary:  Max’s parents have recently separated, and now Max spends every weekend with his dad at his new apartment.  At first, the new place feels unfamiliar, and Max’s dad isn’t always tuned in to what Max likes in terms of room decor or activities.  But Dad is a good listener, and eventually he gets things right.  He takes Max on adventures to explore his new city, but again, he lets Max take the lead in terms of pace and direction.  As the weeks go by, Max gets to know the neighbors, and to feel comfortable enough to invite his best friend for a sleepover.  By the final page, Max has realized he now has two homes, and that he feels happy and safe in each one.  160 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  Max and his dad are likeable, yet realistic characters.  I loved how Dad kept pretending he wasn’t sick the weekend of the sleepover…so like a parent to keep soldiering along, even when you can barely stay awake!  The gradual pace of Max’s adjustment felt natural.  Both parents and children of divorce would benefit from reading this book.

Cons:  160 pages is a bit long for those readers just transitioning to chapter books.  The book is divided into three parts, so some may want to just try part 1 before deciding whether or not to tackle the whole thing.

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