Yellow Daffodil Press, 2010. ISBN 978-0-982-49437-0.
Reviewed by Judy Miller
Posted on 06/14/2010
Alex is a twelve year-old girl with a major attitude. Her sardonic and sometimes funny outlook serves as the wall Alex surrrounds herself with, one she has built over time to protect herself and to keep others from coming too close. Alex has been hurt by her "messed up family," due to a physically and emotionally absent alcoholic father.
Alex's wall begins to crumble when her wise mother gets her into therapy with Dr. Frankenslime (aka Dr.Vicki). Throughout the sessions and through Alex's running monologue, the reader witnesses a change. Alex begins to deal with such issues as trust, fear, rejections and friendship.
As a parent I appreciated the way Dessanoy moved Alex through the stages of grief (anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance) over her father's abandonment. Although Alex and the Amazing Dr. Frankenslime deals with the vulnerability of a tween in an alcoholic and dysfunctional family, the story has merit in a wider arena as well: families going through divorce or other difficult situations where tween or teens may feel they have no control.
Desannoy includes two appendices in the back where Dr. Frankenslime (aka, Dr. Vicki) addresses kids with great questions and parents with a brief overview of critical warning signs indicating expert help is needed. A great book to add to your parenting collection!
Margot Desannoy, MFT, is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the Los Angeles area, who has provided therapy for a bazillion kids and families dealing with tough issues like divorce, alcoholism, depression, and abuse. She's sure many of them have called her "Maggot DoesAnnoyMe—Freaky Counselor" behind her back, and she wouldn't have it any other way.
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