When you think of children’s books, you probably think about happy stuff. Carnivals, bicycles, pizza. And you should. Those topics deserve to be in books of all kinds—especially for kids! But sometimes, a hard topic like divorce belongs in a kids’ book.

Why?

Because divorce is part of many kids’ worlds. It is their everyday reality. And they need to realize they’re not alone.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. When I was writing my first middle-grade book I’m 12 Years Old And I Saved The World, I didn’t make the whole story up. Adam’s dad losing his job and Adam’s fear that his parents would get divorce is true. It’s my story.

If you’ve not read the book, I won’t tell you whether Adam’s parents got divorced. But mine did. And even though I was an adult when it happened, I was scared and sad. My world was changed forever.

As adults, we try to protect our children from the harsh realities of life. Instead of tackling hard topics head on, we sugarcoat them or avoid them altogether.

Unfortunately, doing this only makes life harder for kids. It confuses them. Because while they may be young and inexperienced, children are not dumb. They know when things are not as they should be.

This book admits that. It confirms that kids are smarter than adults often want to acknowledge. And I suspect this is why the book has found a special place in so many hearts.

To any kids with families that are struggling to stay together, stay strong. Remember that if your parents separate or get divorced, it is not your fault, and your parents don’t love you any less.

Struggling to believe this? Don’t keep these scary feelings inside! Tell someone about your pain. Find a close friend or relative, a counselor or neighbor to talk with.