Happy book birthday to FOR THE RECORD by Monique Polak, out today from Owlkids!

“Polak offers carefully nonjudgmental portraits of both parents as flawed in different ways (and profoundly incompatible) but loving … Sad—but frank, supportive, and properly free of easy answers.” ― Kirkus Reviews

Twelve-year-old Justine’s parents are recently divorced. She and her little sister, Bea, go back and forth between their parents’ homes in Montreal. Their mother, whose anxiety manifests as the need to control, believes that their father and beloved half-sister are a bad influence on Justine and Bea. So, she enlists Justine in collecting evidence that would lead to getting sole custody.

Justine accepts her mother’s view of her father at first and begins writing detailed notes about his behavior: He doesn’t stick to Bea’s strict bedtime. He’s late dropping them off at school. He makes sandwiches with white bread. But when Justine crafts an outright lie for her mother’s court case, she starts to question her mother’s behavior, and her own.

This thoughtful, supportive look at parental alienation and its impact on children tenderly balances this difficult topic with moments of joy, love, and connection. Throughout the book, Justine’s clever, unique voice guides readers as she navigates complicated family dynamics and summons the courage to tell the truth, no matter the consequences.

MONIQUE POLAK is the author of over twenty-five books for kids and young adults including the nonfiction book for teens, I Am a Feminist: Reclaiming the F-Word in Turbulent Times and the Quebec Writers Federation Literature Prize winner, What World is Left. Monique teaches English literature, creative writing and humanities at Marianopolis College in Montreal, Quebec. Monique is represented by Amy Tompkins.