Published: 2013 by Annick Press Ltd
Read: August 2013
Trivia Tidbit: The introduction to the book is written by children's author Robert Munsch, who speaks openly and honestly about how he fell into the grip of multiple addictions, and how he and his family were affected
Full Disclosure: Advance Reading Copy from the Publisher via Netgalley
Hooked is a collection of ten true stories based on interviews with children of addicts about how addiction has impacted their lives. The types of addiction vary - alcohol, food, drugs, work, gambling - yet it is remarkable how similarly each child was affected. They were isolated, embarrassed, lonely and sometimes angry with their parent, but loved them even though they did not always feel loved by them. They assumed responsibility beyond their years and strove for perfection in other areas of their lives both to establish some control over their lives and to gain the attention of their parents. That said, the book does not suggest that this is the uniform experience of every child with an addicted parent, indeed the book also includes reference to siblings who took the opposite path in an attempt to gain attention. The stories paint a grim picture of childhood, but are ultimately hopeful.
Each story has sidebar tips on how to recognise signs of addiction and suggestions on handling difficult situations that others may encounter. There is a Q&A section at the back of the book which covers important questions such as "is my parent's addiction my fault" and "what will people think of us if my family member's addiction is discovered", answered by Dr Dennis Kimberly, a professor of social work at Memorial University. More importantly still, it lists resources available to children in these situations at the end of the book.
The honesty of these stories is a testament to the strength of these children and the information resources provided make this book a worthwhile read for any teenager living with family members with addiction.