Although he doesn’t want to admit it — even to himself — Casey’s father is an alcoholic. His parents recently divorced, and his mom and sister moved away, so Casey is the only one left to deal with/take care of his dad. Casey, like many children of alcoholics (or addicts of any kind, for that matter), had to grow up a lot faster than many of his peers. And, while his dad would never specifically mention it or thank him for it, Casey is accustomed to doing most of the cooking and cleaning, not to mention taking care of his dad when he passes out drunk in the livingvroom or gets sick all over the bathroom. When his Aunt Julie suggests that he meet her out for ice cream and to talk, Casey isn’t really ready to admit there is a problem. But, with the support of his friends, his aunt, and his aunt’s friend Joe, who specializes in interventions, Casey decides to finally confront his dad about his drinking and to suggest that his dad get the help he needs to recover.
I have read plenty of books about teenagers who have addiction issues, and a bunch more about teenagers whose parents have addiction issues… but I think this was the first in which the teenager tries to affect a change in that parent. Kudos, Doug Wilhelm! My hope is that this book will move beyond comforting teens with the idea that other people experience the same issue and actually inspire them to speak up about how this issue is impacting their lives/families so that they get themselves and/or their parents the help they so desperately need.