MAKE BELIEVE by Susan Beth Pfeffer


Age Range: 8 - 12
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 A readable but simplistic depiction of the effects of divorce. Sixth-graders Jill and Carrie are best friends; their dads were college roommates, one mom was the other's bridesmaid, their families do everything together. When Jill's dad Tom suddenly moves in with Nicole from his office, Carrie's family is deeply shaken. Her mother ostracizes Tom, but her father isn't ready to reject his old friend entirely. Frighteningly, they begin to quarrel; meanwhile, Jill turns away from Carrie to seek comfort from a classmate who knows divorce firsthand. In the end, Tom's outrageous attempt to force Nicole on Carrie's family alienates even her dad; her mom finds a humorously effective way to remind everyone--in both families--that they all still love each other; and Carrie and Jill, recognizing the real wounds on both sides, tentatively reconstitute their friendship. These cardboard characters aren't even from stock; they're just vehicles for emotions that are credible, but essentially schematic. Still, an accessible story that may give young readers some insight into the afflictions portrayed. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-8050-1754-2
Page count: 136pp
Publisher: Henry Holt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1993


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