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Philadelphia-area children’s author uses humor to tackle divorce

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Few family matters are as difficult to resolve as disputes involving children. When parents divorce, the deepest of emotions can rise up: anger, fear, frustration, envy and more.

While humans have a great capacity for anger, we also have the ability to laugh at ourselves and our problems. Humor is one of our greatest assets as a species. A recent children’s book by a Pennsylvania author uses humor to help kids cope with their parents’ divorce.

Acclaimed author Lisa Graff lives northwest of Philadelphia in the small borough of Narberth. Four years ago, Graff’s middle-grade novel “A Tangle of Knots” was nominated for the National Book Award.

Her latest, “The Great Treehouse War,” revolves around Winnie, a fifth-grader whose parents are divorcing. Winnie apparently decides that she is not going to take their constant bickering quietly, opting to move into her treehouse and stay there.

Graff recently visited the studios of Philadelphia public radio station WHYY to read a bit from the book and talk about why the subject is important to her.

In the passage Graff read, Winnie sits on the family couch exactly between her parents, careful not to show favoritism toward either one, she is not an inch closer to her mom than she is to her dad.

“Winnie watched her mom, so angry with her dad. She watched her dad, so furious with her mom,” read the author.

Graff explained that she wanted to write a “really goofy” take on divorce. She said that though her own parents divorced when she was four years old, she wanted her latest book to examine the absurdities of marital splits.

“(Divorce) can be really funny and really weird and I thought that was a great way to approach it,” she said.
There is no doubt that divorce, like other serious parts of life, can be smoothed and eased somewhat with humor.

Divorce is also smoothed and eased with proper legal guidance from an experienced family law attorney; someone who knows how to protect you and your children at every step of the legal process.

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