Karen lets us know early on that her parents are divorced; and that she and her brother, Andrew, spend the week days at her mother’s house (with Mom and her new husband Seth), and weekends at their dad’s house (with stepmom Elizabeth, and stepsiblings Charlie, Sam, David Michael and Kristy). We only see Dad and Elizabeth and their family in this book, and both parents are understanding and caring.
Dad for instance helps Karen out when she can’t sleep. He works through some things that might be worrying her. Elizabeth takes time to help Karen patch up a favorite stuffed animal and gives her advice about how to give a bad day an emotional fresh start. Both parents hold Karen accountable for her grumpy, bad choices, while still being loving in their disciplines.
After Karen’s bad day, the whole family rallies together at dinner to help Karen feel better. And two of her older stepbrothers even take her out for ice cream. Stepsister Kristy reads Karen a bedtime story and wishes her a better tomorrow.