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When Addiction Hits Home

edited by Chloe Shantz-Hilkes
with Decode

Best Books for Kids and Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Jenny dealt with the stress by forgiving her mom—over and over and over again.

This collection of ten true stories is based on interviews with people who, in their youth, lived with an addicted parent or sibling. The subjects speak honestly about what it was like to grow up with a family member addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, pills, or gambling.

While describing how they managed to cope, interviewees explore the full range of situations and emotions they experienced—from denial, anger, and confusion to acceptance and forgiveness.

Their maturity, sensitivity, and even their sense of humor will give teens going through similar situations the important realization that there are many ways to break free from the chains of others’ addictions.



“Varied and honest enough that readers with addiction in their own families will likely find plenty to relate to.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 06/13

“Searingly honest.”
—School Library Journal, 09/09/14

“A candid, raw read, but those in similar situations will see that they are not alone.”
—Waterloo Region Record, 06/08/13

“Puts a real face on what addictions do to those around them . . . [A] powerful and moving read.”
—Resource Links, 06/13

“Living with an addicted family member has to be difficult, and for those young adults facing the challenge, this is a book which will truly ‘hit home’.”
—CM Reviews, 06/13

“Honest and insightful.”
—Reading Today Online, 06/03/13

“The honesty of these stories is a testament to the strength of these children . . . a worthwhile read for any teenager living with family members with addiction.”
—The Great Unread, 08/24/13

“Any teen who is going through a similar situation . . . will be comforted to find that they are not alone.”
—Canadian Children’s Book New,10/13

“The real life anecdotes are powerfully told . . . by teens who actually live with an addicted family member.”
—muskokaregion.com, 07/13/14

“Shines a light on how addiction affects more than just . . . the addict . . . a very well done book.”
—Mrs. Cejda’s Book Blog, 08/20/14