DON'T MAKE ME SMILE by Barbara Park


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Charlie, almost eleven, won't smile because his parents are divorcing, and--in answer to their inquiries--no, he's not okay and never will be. Charlie takes the situation pretty hard, with shouting fits and poor schoolwork and general rudeness; but time and a sympathetic child psychologist do their bit, so that two months later (on the last page) ""I think I've come a long way. . . . I don't go around singing all the time, but I don't cry as much either."" Meanwhile his refusal to accept what is happening lands him in some mildly amusing situations--as when he runs away to hide in a tree, with three changes of underwear but no blanket. Charlie's behavior is likely enough, and he could serve as an object lesson/companion in misery for others in the same boat. Beyond that, it's a pretty routine and one-dimensional story.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
ISBN: 0375815554
Publisher: Knopf