Madame Squidley and Beanie
The story of a girl whose mother has a chronic illness
Beanie's mom used to be a lot of fun. She still is, when she pretends to be the amazing fortune-teller, Madame Squidley. But Beanie knows it's a strain. Mrs. Kingsley has been sick for months, and doctors can't say exactly what's wrong. They don't seem to take the illness very seriously, though. Beanie does. She worries about her mom, and wonders what will happen to her and Jerm, her little brother, if their mother doesn't get well. Beanie's friend Charles Sprague has a problem, too -- scoliosis, and divorced parents who fight about it. Beanie begins to long for a new mother and a whole new set of friends. Then she discovers that she already has the best family, and the best friend, and that there's plenty she can do to help them.
This is perhaps the most personal story written by Alice Mead, herself a mother with a chronic illness.